There is a marked difference in the days where I first seek the Lord, His guidance, strength and protection, and when I go on my own steam. On those latter times, things don’t go well. But on the days I make Him first and seek Him, I am confident in Him and His protection. That’s what David is describing: “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.” (Ps. 46:4)

When we abide in the Lord (dwell), we are fully trusting in Him. “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Ps. 91:1-2) We are trading our fears for His protection and guidance, and pledging our daily devotion to Him and His Word.

So what is “the beauty of the Lord”? It is His characteristics and what He has done for us. As we trust Him daily, we see that God is good (Ps. 34:8); The Lord is our refuge who cares for us (Nahum 1:7); He is sovereign, great, and powerful with a strong hand to perform mighty works (Deut 3:24); He is holy and full of glory (Is. 6:3); He is the ruler of all thing and gives us strength (1 Chron 29:12) and He has the power to help or overthrow (2 Chron. 25:8); He is unfailing love and power belongs to Him (Ps. 62:11-12); He is righteous (Ps. 119:137); and wisdom and power are His (Dan. 2:20).

We further see His love in the grace He gives by sacrificing His Son for our sins (Eph. 2:7), while we were yet sinners He showed Himself rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4-5); He sent His Son to make Himself known to us (John 1:18); and He speaks to us through His Son who has supremacy over all (Col. 1:15-20) and sustains all things through His powerful Word (Heb. 1:1-3).

Reflect on God’s character as you face conflict, so that you may be comforted in His protection. We are His, He has summoned us by name and He is with us as we walk through trials (Is 43:1-2). God is our refuge and strength, therefore we do not need to fear (Ps. 46). When we dwell in His shelter and rest in His shadow, He will be our refuge and protect us as He is with us in all circumstances (Ps. 91). “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” (Ps. 34:8)