Divided aims tend to distraction, weakness, disappointment. The man of one pursuit is successful. Let all our affections be bound up in one affection, and that affection set upon heavenly things. “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple.” (Ps 27:4)
God sees our hearts (1 Sam 16:7), and knows what we long for most. If it wealth, prestige, beauty and we spend our time and talents searching to obtain these things, then the Lord knows it is not truly a relationship with Him that we seek. In fact His Word warns against such longing: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Tim 6:10)
His promise stands: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33) Instead we are to work toward what endures, not for the here and now: “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” (John 6:27)
Our desires of the Lord should be sanctified, humble, constant, submissive, fervent, and it is well if, as with the psalmist, they are all molten into one mass. David has already been thankful that the Lord provides His light, salvation, strength, and gives us Himself as our source for our confidence (Ps 27:1-3).
Under David’s painful circumstances we might expect him to desire repose, safety, and a thousand other good things, but no, he has set his heart on the eternal prize, and leaves the rest. “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: 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 meditate in His temple.” (Ps 27:4)
Holy desires must lead to resolute action. The old proverb says, “Wishers and woulders are never good housekeepers,” and “wishing never fills a sack.” Desires are seed which must be sown in the good soil of activity, or they will yield no harvest. We shall find our desires to be like clouds without rain, unless followed up by practical endeavors.
Jesus tells us in order to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”, we must abide in Him. “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:3-5)
Jesus began this teaching by speaking of the roles Jesus and the Father have: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:1-2) Then He reminds us that desiring a relationship with our Lord without practically seeking one, will result in no relationship at all. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
To behold the beauty of the Lord, we must not enter the assemblies of the saints in order to see and be seen, or merely to hear the minister; we must gather with the intent and objective of learning more of the loving Father, more of the glorified Jesus, more of the mysterious Spirit, in order that we may the more lovingly admire, and the more reverently adore our glorious God. The Lord tells us, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13) And if we don’t, we may be unfortunate to hear Jesus declare, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt 7:23)
So if we truly want to dwell with Him forever, then we must make every effort to spend time with Him in prayer, reading His Word, and then meditating on His Word so that we can learn from the Holy Spirit how to apply it to our lives. “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps 84:10)