TO CHEW ON: "… And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever" Psalm 23:6 NKJV
"…and through the length of days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place." Psalm 23:6 Amplified
Most of us spend only a tiny percentage of our week in church. David, the writer of this psalm, may have spent more time in the temple than we spend in church, but he surely didn't live there. So what did he mean by "I will dwell in the house of the Lord / Forever"? Isn't that even a little weird?
Let's start answering that by thinking about what happens in God's house—in David's time and still today. There is worship, praise, and thanksgiving in word, music and singing. There is prayer, repentance, fellowship, testimony, and giving.
Of course all of the things above are also things we could do in other places as well. So we might ask, could dwelling in the house of the Lord mean bringing more of what happens in church into other places, like our everyday living? Could we bring more gratitude, worship and praise expressed in singing and speaking, more sensitivity to sin and quickness to repent, more eagerness to share what God is doing with those our lives touch every day, more generosity with our time, our stuff, ourselves, our home...?
The way the Amplified Bible adds "[and His presence] shall be my dwelling place" gives us another clue concerning this type of life. How do we live in God's presence?
- "I have set the Lord always before me" says David in Psalm 16:8, implying a conscious effort to remember God is here.
- We cultivate a humble attitude - Psalm 34:18.
- We concentrate on His goodness to us - Psalm 75:1.
- We call on him (pray) - Psalm 145:18.
- We trust Him - Psalm 73:28.
- We purify our consciences of known sin - Hebrews 10:22.
- We draw near to Him even when He doesn't feel near to us and suddenly we realize He was there all the time - James 4:8.
- And of course we live in Him, He in us, as we allow His life to flow to/through us - John 15:5,7,10.
Maybe it's not so impossible, or weird, to live in God's house all the time after all!
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to live in Your 'house,' conscious of Your presence today. Amen.
MORE: "Better Is One Day In Your House" by Matt Redman
********The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.