“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” Psalm 27:4a
The prophet-priest Samuel told King Saul concerning David, “The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart…” What was there about David that caught the attention, affection and admiration of the Lord Himself? David wrote many of the psalms, and he frequently revealed his heart’s passion in these writings. Clearly, David’s life was largely directed by his passion to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life…” Keep in mind that the house of the Lord represented the place where the Lord dwelled among His people in that day. Thus, David longed to live each day in the awareness of the presence of God!
Now let us fast forward to our day. Our modern-day churches seem to have everything we could possibly need. We have theologically trained pastoral staffs, a committed core of dedicated lay people that carry on the various ministries of the local churches, recognized organization skills, a world-wide printing and distribution arm and cutting edge social media. Seemingly we have everything…but the one thing we can least afford to be without…passion, specifically a passion for the presence of God! Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. No doubt the vast majority would prefer to see a mighty moving of God in our day, but do not fail to understand there is a world of difference between having a PREFERENCE for God’s presence, and having a PASSION for the Lord’s presence!
Listen to David again in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water!” Two things of note: 1) The man or woman who would have a passion for the Lord’s presence must seek the Lord resolutely. David said, “I shall seek You!” At some point we must come to the place where we decide what we are doing is not working! It is time for me to spend my days seeking the Lord! The old puritan preachers used to preach that if you desire a blessing from the Lord, “Put yourself in the way of blessing!” If you share with David the desire to live each day in an awareness of the presence of God, put yourself in the way of blessing. Seek the Lord where He is: In prayer, in the Word, In personal worship and in worship and prayer with other believers!
2) The man or woman who would have a passion for the Lord’s presence must seek the Lord relentlessly. Remember your school grammar lessons! Seek is a verb, and verbs are action words. All the resolve in the world is pointless if there are no corresponding actions. We all know where the road leads that is paved with good intentions! It is time to put feet to our prayers and seek the Lord!
One day a young man sought and received an audience with Augustine, a fourth century Christian leader. Augustine asked the man what he could do for him. “Can you help me know God?” Augustine asked, “Do you really want to know God?” Yes, the young man answered. Augustine led the man to a beautiful garden of trees, flowers and a pool of water. He walked to the water, dropped to his knees, bowed his head and closed his eyes. The young man did likewise. Without warning Augustine reached over, caught the man by the arm and back of his neck and plunged his face into the water. After a while he let the man up long enough to get a couple of gasps of air, then plunged his head back under water. Eventually he let the man up again, turned him face to face and said, “Young man, when you want to know God as bad as you want to breathe right now, then you will get to know God!” What would happen in your life, in your family, in your church, in your town if YOU had a passion for the presence of God?