Seeking God’s Presence & Finding Rest
King David, the writer of many portions of the Book of Psalms wrote:
“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Being in the presence of the Lord is something that draws us and reminds us how great it is to know the Lord and experience His great love. In David’s time, the presence of the Lord was found in the Tabernacle. When David wanted to dwell in the house or temple of the Lord, he meant he wanted to dwell or abide in God’s presence.
What Does It Mean to “Dwell in the House of the Lord”?
For David, to be in God’s presence meant to be away from danger, war, unrest, wicked people, and violence. Being in God’s presence was exactly what he needed to be safe from his enemies and at rest. For David, God’s presence brings peace, shelter, and joy.
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore, I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord” (Psalm 27:5-6).
David boldly declared his deep trust and faith in God. It reminds believers that in God alone is found hope, safety, and peace. Like David, we do not have to be afraid of our enemies or come up with our own solutions. When life gets hard, we can dwell in the presence of the Lord to find real help and strength.
Where Is the House of the Lord?
In the New Testament, after Jesus ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit came, a new understanding was given to the concept of a temple. God’s presence would no longer only dwell in a building but in all believers. The Apostle Paul wrote about this to the church in Corinth.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit, and Christ dwells within them (Ephesians 3:17). What an honour and a mystery that God is literally within us and always with His followers.
How Can We Dwell in the House of the Lord, and Gaze upon His Beauty?
All believers dwell in the presence of the Lord. We have eyes to see His beauty, holiness, and faithfulness when we stop focusing on our problems and focus on the goodness of God – just as David did in this psalm. David brought his troubles to the Lord and let them go so that he could find help and rest in God’s presence.
We experience God’s presence through prayer and worship, through quiet time reflecting on the majesty of who God is, reading Scriptures, and by laying our troubles at His feet. When we stop letting our troubles or busy lives keep us from enjoying God’s presence, it becomes easier to see His goodness in our lives and the world around us.
What Would This Mean for Our Everyday Lives if This Was Our Focus?
Psalm 27 highlights how the presence of God aligns hearts and leads believers in the way of righteousness. David knew how vital it was to keep his faith in God despite the ups and downs he went through.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14).
When we experience God’s presence, we see His goodness, we have courage and strength from God, and have the ability to be patient for the Lord to move. When we face troubles, we often want to fix them on our own, solve the problem quickly, and make decisions out of fear. Just as David sought God’s presence, we can also seek the presence of God when we face unexpected battles, challenges or hardships, and as a result, be filled with trust and courage in God. God surely will help His children and be a shelter to those who seek and depend on Him.
David wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord and this meant he wanted to abide in the presence of God. Believers today can take David’s wisdom to heart. We, too, should abide in the presence of the Lord each day. We can trust in God’s help, strength, and shelter. We have the Spirit of the Lord and Christ dwelling within us.
My prayer for you is that you will be bold to enter His presence and find strength and rest in times of need, and grow into greater intimacy with the Lord.
God bless you.