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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 64

Prayers of Petition continued...

The fourth thing we ought to be asking God for in our prayers of petition is to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life. This was also David’s prayer of petition to God, because he knew the full extent of what it meant to be in the house of the Lord.

Psalm 27:4-5, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will 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. 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.”

Although an entire sermon series can readily be extracted from these two verses, in my quest not to be gratuitous with words, I will give you the abridged version of what we can learn from this magnificent prayer.

David’s desire to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of His life is fueled by the preeminent desire to behold the beauty of the Lord, and inquire, or seek instruction in His temple.

If we could desire one thing of the Lord what would it be? If we could petition God for one thing, what would we petition Him for?

Although David could have desired more than one thing of the Lord, in his heart he realized he had no need to desire anything else, if he could obtain this one thing. If we can be in the presence of the Lord, and dwell in His house all the days of our lives, then there will never be anything more we will ever petition God for, because we have attained the greatest gift of all.

David knew full well why he was petitioning the Lord to dwell in His house, for among the many benefits of being in the house of the Lord, is being under the Lord’s protection.

David knew the enemies he had were plentiful, he knew he could not defend himself against them in perpetuity, but he also knew that if he dwelt in the house of the Lord, the Lord would hide him in His pavilion in the time of trouble.

David knew better than most, that once God hides you in the secret place of His tabernacle, you are out of your enemy’s reach, no matter how determined, and how vicious your enemy might be.

It’s when we don’t dwell in the house of the Lord, it’s when we wander from under His protection, that the enemy can, and does, attack us, wound us, and even fell us. While we are under God’s protection, nothing can do us harm, no one can touch us, for He who spoke the universe into being is guarding and protecting us.

There is a caveat to being in the house of the Lord, and that is walking in His will, pursuing righteousness and holiness. Our God is a holy God, our God is a righteous God, and only those walking in righteousness and holiness will dwell in His house.

It is imperative to not only desire and petition God to dwell in His house, but do what is incumbent upon us to do in order to make certain we are walking in His will.

In reading the writings of David, especially some of his earlier psalms, we come to realize the profound knowledge he had of God, and the relationship he established with Him.

We know David was as far from perfect as one could get without falling off the edge of the earth altogether, yet he was a man after God’s own heart because he possessed a contrite spirit, and was quick to repent when he knew He had offended God.

David also knew that God’s loving-kindness would extend beyond that of his friends, his parents, or even his spouse. David trusted God completely, and knew that though is mother and father forsake him God would take care of him.

Psalm 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”

This is how we must approach God - with sincerity, and conviction, with certitude and humility. When all is lost, when even those closest to us forsake and abandon us, we have the unshakeable faith that God will be there, taking care of us.

Because He is preeminent in our lives, because our singular desire is to be in His presence, dwelling in His house, being hidden in the secret place of His tabernacle, we unburden ourselves of anything that might constitute a stumbling block between ourselves and God, and devote ourselves wholly to Him and His kingdom.

We can be strangers to the house of the Lord, occasional visitors to the house of the Lord, or those who are planted in the house of the Lord, whose roots are deep and well established in His presence, and whose one desire is to behold His beauty.

May we earnestly petition God, to plant us in His house, to plant us in His pavilion, and desire to grow daily in Him. If our relationship with God is not what it ought to be, it is not His fault. If our intimacy with God is not what it ought to be, it is not God who has made Himself unavailable. Desire all of Him, and you shall have all of Him, beholding His beauty until the day you see Him face to face.

Psalm 92:13-15, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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