Give me just one thing

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; 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.” Psalm 27:4

We see in this verse David’s holy and focused desire for God above all things: to dwell in God’s house forever and that he may behold the beauty of the Lord. David’s desire was to sit in the presence of God and recognise His sheer beauty. What makes God’s house God’s house? God is there. David didn’t only desire the temple, but the very presence of God which was manifested most regularly in the temple. David didn’t seek an experience or a sermon, but the very presence of God. His desire was for nothing less than God himself!

And what was David’s goal? To behold the beauty of the Lord, who is altogether lovely. (I’m not humming the tune to “here I am to worship … you’re altogether lovely … “. David certainly has many other desires in his life and the point of the text is not to remove all desire. It is good that we desire good things and yet, this desire to be in God’s presence and behold His beauty eclipses all others. It is preeminent over all other desires. All else in life was subordinated to this one holy ambition; God himself.

What does it mean to be in His presence? Here’s some suggestions:

  • Reading the Bible
  • Praying
  • Asking and receiving a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit
  • True fellowship with other believers
  • Serving from the motivation of love, grace and mercy as displayed in Jesus

What does it mean to behold His beauty? Here’s some more suggestions:

  • To take a moment and recognise that all good gifts come from God and to thank him for those good things
  • To recall a promise that God has made true in your life
  • To remember the gentleness by which God instructions and corrects us


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