Psalm 43:3-4 (NKJV) Oh, send out Your Light and Your Truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your Holy Hill and to Your Tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.
I love my study. It is a place of peace and tranquility. I cannot explain the why I my vast affection other than it is the place that I meet with the Lord each day. I do other things in the same room but none as important as entertaining the Presence of God. It is not fancy but quiet and comfortable. No television. No distractions. Big windows to let the light in. A hummingbird feeder just outside to invite their company. The big desk once in an attorney’s office carefully painted into a shabby chic wonder. When I saw it for sale, I knew where it belonged and bought it on the spot. Crammed in my small SUV and brought it home. Still cannot believe it fit but it was meant to be. This place is my sanctuary in my sanctuary. The space that I study God’s Word. Take to listen for His Voice. Call upon His Name – it is an intentional meeting place. Do you have a place like this place?
Oh, send out Your Light and Your Truth! Let them lead me…Let them bring me to Your Holy Hill and to Your Tabernacle!”
In a world full of distractions, even our home can become a whirlwind of activity, overloaded with responsibilities, filled with the noise of media, and time consumed by lesser things or worthless wasting of precious moments that could be infused with power. We must create a place to call this place. The time and space reserved for His Presence (Your Holy Hill and Your Tabernacle). If I am not careful, the enemy will compromise the time and space reserved by the Lord. But when I come to this room filled with reminders of His Love, His Presence and that it is HIS PLACE, I am reminded. God wants to show us a better way. His Word is the Lamp or Light that leads us in each step, every moment and every breath. His Word can be heard if we silence the other voices and demands on our time. The Lord is whispering your name today. He is waiting for a response similar to Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” If your heartfelt desire is to live in the Presence of God outside of church and designated times of services and encounters, it is important to build a place.
In 2 Chronicles 33, the story of Manasseh can give us insight in finding such a place in our life. He was leading God’s People astray. They were worshipping idols and foreign gods. There was no reverence for the Lord. It was a holy land free for all. God spoke to them and they would not listen. Manasseh was captured by the King of Assyria who bound him in hooks and bronze fetters carrying him away to Babylon.
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 (NKJV) Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
As it happens most of the time, it is our affliction that people finally truly and intentionally seek the face of God. The place of humility is often stumbled upon in our weakness and failure. Some will find it refreshing and renew their commitment to the Lord. For those, their captivity will produce freedom as it did for Manasseh who upon release put his kingdom back in order. He built a wall around the city and God’s People. It is important to establish boundaries in our life placing Jesus Christ at the center of it all. He is our Gatekeeper who allows us to be the gatekeepers of our own occupied space. In other words, you must carefully decide what is allowed in and out of your life. Open borders leave us open to attack. We live in this world but are not of this world. There are certain things that are not allowed in my house. I lock the doors and windows to discourage thieves and my huge dog with deep bark helps. I have anointed every door with oil inviting only the Holy Spirit to enter, occupy and fill our home. It is up to us to secure the boundaries and borders of our life. We have the binding and loosing power of Jesus Christ in simple speech because our words hold power. We must secure the walls around our heart – keeping Jesus on the throne and the other clutter out.
Manasseh didn’t stop with a wall. He cleaned house. He removed all foreign idols and other gods. Though some of the people continued to privately worship idols – it was not allowed publicly anymore. To upend our life and look for those hidden sins or even unsuspected idols that take our time and hinder our relationship with the Lord may be the reason there is no peace in our life or home. It begins with a careful examination of our heart and mind. The cry to “create in me a right heart and renew a steadfast spirit” is an important routine for those who truly desire to live in righteousness. To live in a relationship requires commitment, devotion and trust. Why would a love affair with Jesus require any less? When my spouse feels forgotten, left out or taken for granted, it is my goal to reestablish the relationship by showing him love, affection, affirmation and appreciation. Jesus deserves so much more yet we give him less and less. The space and place in our life that belongs to Jesus Christ is often given to lesser things. We must continually seek to remove the worthless things to allow Christ to bring about fulfillment including complete contentment and full satisfaction. We will never give up anything that the Lord does not have better for us when our heart is set on Him.
Finally, Manasseh repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed a peace and thanks offering and commanded the people to do the same. Sometimes it takes affliction, hardship, oppression and certain conditions to reveal the distance between God and His People. Our pastor just told us that “you can choose your actions but cannot choose the consequences.” What a deep and powerful truth! We choose each day who we will serve. Our declaration may be “as for me and my house – we will serve the Lord.” We must make a place that entertains the Presence of the Living God. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all gentlemen. They are not going to force themselves in and make you change a thing. But rather the Person of God waits for us to choose Him. The outcome of our life is not controlled by us but rather our ability to use proper wisdom in making good choices. Even good choices sometimes result in unfavorable outcomes – it’s only natural. I don’t want to live a natural life. Life is hard. The outcomes unpredictable. When I decided to live my life – it dumped a whole lot of consequence that I could not handle on my own. But when I made a place for Jesus to come in and takeover – every detail of my life works out for my good. It does! No joke. Do I experience discomfort, inconvenience and live outside of my own control – yep all the time! Whether I worry, stress, become anxious or meltdown OR choose to live in the peace and presence of God – His Grace is always enough!
Psalm 84:1-4 (NKJV) How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young—even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah
Does life seem out of control? Chaotic? Do you feel distance between you and the Lord? Psalm 84 talks about the beauty and blessing of living in the House of God or His Presence. It doesn’t silence all storms but it quiets and calms every storm in me. Life is hard. It will always be a struggle. Evil is prevailing and that is exactly as Christ told us it would be. We must plant our feet in God’s Presence and refuse to move. To live by faith requires sowing and reaping in Kingdom principles rather than relying on reality. Supernatural living is more than possible but inevitable when we make a place for Christ to rule and reign in our heart and home. It is a choice that always prospers us with the benefits and blessings of Heaven on earth. It is a choice. Not a forced place because it is designed and defined by love, but rather an offering of sanctuary and shelter in the midst of a world spinning out of control. Will you give Him space and time to build a love affair with you? To taste and see that He is going will increase your appetite until your life requires Him all day everyday just to survive and then you will thrive! This is the place to live – there is no place like home!