BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
Psalm 27:4 (NLT) “The one thing I ask of the LORD – the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
The language of the verse for today shows a man who knew and loved his God. Showing up to the Temple wasn’t something to check off his ‘To Do’ list – it was something that he desperately craved. It was the “one thing (he) asked of the LORD.” It was “the thing (he) sought most.” He realized that the LORD has intended for us to enjoy Him and he was enjoying that truth.
I wonder how many of us are simply trying to live a moral life and to be a “good Christian.” And I wonder how many are really, really enjoying the Lord. We say all the time that Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship – but too often we turn it into a dry, lifeless religion that lacks the joy of knowing God.
So, let’s get really practical. How can we develop a relationship with the Lord where we are enjoying Him? Let me give you four points to ponder:
- Spend time listening to Him in His Word. Read your Bible daily. And I’m not talking about 5-10 minutes. Spend at least 30-60 minutes reading and pondering what God is saying. But, don’t read it as a lifeless book – instead, read it as God’s personal Word to you.
- Spend time speaking with Him in prayer. Don’t just rattle off your requests. Share with the Lord exactly what is on your heart. If you feel like you need permission to let it all out in the presence of the Lord, read the book of Psalms. King David and the other psalmists were often incredibly ‘real’ with God and said things that we might not dare say in our own prayers. But, they were real and that’s what relationship is all about. So, be open and honest with the Lord about everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. Rest in His love for you and let Him draw your heart closer to Him.
- Let difficulties cause you to lose your taste for sin. Oftentimes, it takes really painful ordeals in life to bring us to our senses. In the good times, when we aren’t keenly aware of our need for God, we may tolerate sin in our life. Yet, when times get tough, God may cause us to see how clearly we need Him and how utterly self-defeating it is to do anything that would keep us from Him. It is in these times that we can learn to despise sin and lose our taste for it.
- Look for God’s fingerprints around you. In the crazy, hectic pace of life, we often fail to see God’s hands at work in the details. Yet, if we are looking, we will see acts of grace all around us. While we are not so egocentric as to think that God only demonstrates those acts of goodness on our behalf (there are so many other people that He loves, too), we realize that He is mindful enough to include us specifically in the details around us. Thank Him for each of those acts of kindness as you recognize them. (Reread that last sentence until you resolve to do it.) In seeing God at work all around you, you will come to see that He is to be enjoyed in every moment of our days.
There are many other ways that God works to invite us into deeper relationship with Him so that we can enjoy Him. But, from my own experience, these four are the biggies that God has used to help my wife and me enjoy Him more as the years go by.