Have you ever longed to be in the presence of the Lord? The psalmist in Psalm 84 described his deep desire to be in God’s presence and the blessings that came from it. He begins by saying, “How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty” (v. 1). During that day, the Lord lived in buildings. The building was not beautiful because of its adornments but because the Lord lived in it! The psalmist could not wait to be in the place where the Lord lived! That’s where he felt most blessed, loved, and at home. The Jews celebrated seven feasts and festivals, four in the spring and three in the fall. In those times, they praised God for His deliverance, forgiveness, and provision as they expressed their dependence, thankfulness, and devotion to Him. The psalmist “yearned, fainted, and cried out” (v. 2) to worship in the Lord’s presence in those precious times once again. Oh, how good is the presence of the Lord!
Today, the good news is that because of Jesus, God’s presence does not reside in buildings but the lives of saved people (Acts 7:48, 17:24). We are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 6:16). Each of the Jewish feasts and festivals pointed to and fulfilled in Jesus. The four they celebrated in the spring pointed back to what Jesus did through the cross and His resurrection, and the three they celebrated in the fall point towards what Jesus will do in His second coming. Jesus is our savior, redeemer, deliverer, and provider, and we are dependent, thankful, and devoted to Him! In Psalm 84, the psalmist knew the blessings of the Lord were found in His presence during those special and specific times of worship. Good news! We don’t have to wait for feasts and festivals for the blessings of God’s presence. While we can (and should) go to worship in a building once a week (church building), His Spirit dwells in us daily (we are the church). Better said, we don’t have to dwell in a house to worship the Lord. We are the house He dwells in as we worship Him! Christ in me, hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We can continually praise (v. 4) and find strength (v. 5) in His presence. The psalmist said He revives and helps us “pass through” dry times (v. 6). We don’t dwell in dry times, but in the refreshing springs of the Lord we increase from “strength to strength” (v. 7). Oh, how good is the presence of the Lord!
We can pray and know He hears us (v. 8). Prayer isn’t a long distance call to a God somewhere far away but an intimate conversation with a God Who lives in us! We know He hears us because He is in us! He is our shield (v. 9) because His presence resides in us. While the psalmist celebrated in the temple courts a few days a year, we can enter into His gates and courts with thanksgiving and praise all day every day (Psalm 100:4). Still, the psalmist knew that just one day with the Lord was better than almost three years (1000 days) anywhere else. He knew that even being a doorkeeper was better than being on the outside with the wicked (v. 10). Think about what the psalmist said: while even a tiny glimpse and experience of God’s presence could sustain him for years, he wanted to be with the Lord continually! That’s how good the presence of the Lord is! Favor, honor, and every good thing is found in His presence (v. 11). He blesses those who trust in Him (v. 12)! Oh, how good is the presence of the Lord!
- Do you still treat God like He is only found in a feast and festival like Christmas and Easter a few times a year?
- Do you recognize and celebrate in the daily presence we have with God because of Jesus?
- Does His daily presence sustain and satisfy you, or do you wait to try to gain that just on Sunday?
Lord, just a glimpse of You as a doorkeeper for one day would sustain us for a long time. That wasn’t good enough for You, and it isn’t good enough for me either. Thank You for filling us with Your Spirit and living inside us daily! Oh, how we long, faint, and cry out for more of Your presence! Bless us and give us more of Your favor which is more of Your presence. We are desperate for Your refreshment and streams of living water. Oh, how good is the presence of the Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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