Sunday, January 11, 2009

The one thing to ask for (church bulletin cover)

If you could ask just one thing of God, what would it be? Health? Wealth? For a problem to be solved? Solomon asked for wisdom (2 Samuel 3:5, 9). Bartimaeus asked for his sight (Luke 18:41). David, the man described as a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), asked for something entirely different. David wrote, "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, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple" (Psalm 27:4).

Which leads me to wonder, what's the value of believing in God and of even committing my whole life to Him if I don't actually adore Him? In other words, is it enough for my mind and my will to be responsive to God, but for my heart to be engaged elsewhere? I don't think so. To suggest otherwise would mean that God preferred mere recruits more than a meaningful relationship with us. The one thing David asked of God was a reflection of what God also desires from us: a deep and personal relationship.

But for David, this was not something to merely ask for and then patiently wait for God to provide. We see in Psalm 28:4 that this was something David wanted enough to seek after it! David wanted intimacy with God. He wanted to dwell in God's house every day of his life. And in doing so, he wanted to behold God's beauty. As I appreciate the passion of this verse, I see a man who seemed so completely mesmerized by God that all he could want was to be close to Him. His delight was solely in God -- his gaze was fixed adoringly on Him -- he was captivated by Him.

I want to share this same longing that David had. I don't want to want anything else as much as I want God. Too often, I whet my appetite with lesser things like big-budget movies or low-budget computer solitaire and then find I have little appetite for God. It's as though I can graze on junk food and then not find a magnificent feast appealing. David saved his appetite for God so that when God said, "Seek My face," David's heart said, "Your face, O Lord, I shall seek" (Psalm 27:8).

What's my answer when the Holy Spirit says, "Seek after God. Read God's Word. Spend time in prayer with your God."? Do I say, "I'm kinda busy right now" or "I don't really feel like it" or "I'm not hungry"? Or do I rush to the table, eager to be with God, in love with Him as my Father and thrilled to be with Him as much as I can? May He be the "one thing" I truly feel that way about! And may I seek Him as eagerly as I ask for His nearness!

© 2009 by Ken Peters

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