Kingdom living occurs through a range of contexts – the next one I want to think on is our greatest priority.
I longed for many years to make knowing God my greatest priority. Experiencing such a relationship had been at the core of my spiritual quest.
There have been times in my life when God became a priority because I felt desperate for him. I have experienced a hunger for his presence – like I couldn’t get enough. While these seasons are very precious to me, I’ve also learned not to base the priority of Jesus on my feelings. I still want to make him my priority even during “dry spells.” The deepest growth in intimacy in my personal walk with God began when I determined to get up early to seek him, despite my circumstances. This has been my daily priority, now for many years.
It is on this journey that God brought to my path His servant King David who joined me as another one who longed to live each day with Lord. David taught me much about the delight of the greatest priority.
In Psalm 27 there is instruction that is pressing for us to hear, and there is application that is immediate for us to apply. King David raises the bar for us. David’s example challenges us to seek more.
‘One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple’ (Psalm 27:4).
In the passage, David shares his Number One priority: above all else, he had an intense desire to experience the presence of God. In the Old Testament, the tabernacle was the primary place of worship. Here a repentant believer could offer a sacrifice and receive forgiveness of sins. And here, the glory of God was on display like nowhere else. This is where David wanted to be, and he longed to be there every day.
“One thing I ask from the LORD”
When David uses the word “one” he is not talking about quantity, but about priority. David is praying for a great many things. We should notice, first of all, that David did not literally ask for “one thing”, as the text reads, but quite a few things. In Psalm 27, David asks that he might “dwell in the house of the Lord”(v.4). He asks the Lord to be “gracious” to him (v.7). David asks to be taught the “way” of the Lord (v.11). And finally, he asks that he not be delivered “over to the desire of (his) adversaries”(v.12). But the “one thing” he must have is the presence of God, and so this is what David seeks most earnestly.
“One thing I Seek”
The power of David’s statement, “one thing I seek” would be diffused if David only wanted fellowship with God some of the time. The implications for us appears to be clear. We should desire to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of (our) life.
The fact that David desires God above everything, and that he desires God everyday is significant.
Throughout the various stages of his life, the “one thing” David gave himself to was to live daily in God’s presence, beholding God’s beauty. Whether in a palace, wilderness, or, battleground, David was determined to live in constant God awareness. And David found that living in God’s constant presence was also to experience God’s constant love and protection: ‘For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.’ (Psalm 27:5 nASB).
With the “one thing I seek” being my deepest desire I have be able to be joyful even if my reputation suffers, if my material resources dwindle, if my health deteriorates, if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I still can proclaim that I fear no evil because God promises to be with me.
I learned the most important things I do each day is spend time in God’s presence. Reading my Bible, praying, speaking the Word of God, and worshiping Him is my greatest desire. This is my heart’s desire. Each day my greatest desire is my time with God.
It’s easy to get this priority out of order but something changed in my life when I made a decision to spend the first moments of each new day in seeking God. I made a determination that no matter what – knowing God is my greatest priority.