“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!”
Psalm 84:1 ESV
I think it’s fair to say, we’re all DONE with sheltering in place. As more gathering restrictions are lifted, people are happy just to be out connecting with others, visiting friends and family— keeping their distance, of course!
But one of the biggest voids in all believers is not being able to gather at church these last three months. (Hopefully we’re on track for this to start happening in just a matter of weeks!)
For Christians, we know the church is God’s people— that is, all true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it would not be incorrect to call 400 Elwood Road the Lord’s house. And many long to be in it.
As believers, we have the Spirit of the Lord living in us, setting us apart from the world (John 14:16-17). However, before Christ came in human flesh to set the captives free by His sacrifice for all who believe, the presence of the Lord was sought through His dwelling place, the Temple. In fact, people traveled there throughout the year, sometimes enduring great danger along the way. But that paled in comparison to the prize of being in His presence!
Psalm 84 is a wonderful song of praise for the Temple, sung by pilgrims as they came to Jerusalem for one of the great festivals of faith— commentators suggest, perhaps the Festival of Shelters! Indeed the Temple, as the dwelling place of God, was the most desirable place in all the world. In fact so desirable, the psalmist goes on to say, “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God” 84:2. The psalmist also goes on to say in verse 10, For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. What a statement!
Do you have that same fervor for being in the Lord’s house? Does your soul long for His Spirit that is found amongst His people in church?
At the same time, let us be grateful to our God that He is living in our hearts— the temple of the Living God! 1 Corinthians 3:16– “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” As Christians, we can “dwell” in the presence of the Lord, wherever our location. The important thing is not to squander that amazing gift! Seek His presence daily through His Word, by the enabling of the Holy Spirit living in us— and among His people!
And, can’t wait to see you back at 400 Elwood Road!