I was in elementary school when I first heard Psalm 27:4 – I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.
I was intensely disappointed and confused. I couldn’t comprehend that David, the Giant Slayer, wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. To me, that meant going to church everyday. Gazing on the beauty of the Lord meant I had to be quiet and still like when I was supposed to gaze upon a work of art in a museum. It didn’t make sense to me. I also failed to understand the whole Seeking Him in His temple thing. How I was supposed to find anyone if I had to sit still in church? I was well acquainted with the rules of Hide and Seek, but I’d never played it with God. My teachers had taught me that God was everywhere all the time which meant it would be really hard for Him to hide which would end the game really fast. All of this added up to mean one thing: I had no desire to gaze on the beauty of the Lord. I certainly didn’t want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
However, after coming to know Jesus, I understand what it means to experience His presence in worship, both privately and corporately. My elementary school self would probably be surprised to hear that I long for these times. Worship is not just me sitting passively listening to other people talk and sing about a distant God. It’s an opportunity for me to encounter the living Creator of everything who loves us so intensely that He died so we might spend eternity with Him forever and Him dwell within us even now.
I still don’t want to play hide and seek with God. He’s everywhere and I have no desire to hide from Him. I’d rather be with Him…gazing on His beauty, dwelling in His house all the days of my life.
Lord, I desire one thing: To spend all of my life seeking after You and experiencing Your presence.