One thing have I asked 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 gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquirein his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
I‘m asking God for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long. I‘ll contemplate his beauty; I‘ll study at his feet. That‘s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.
I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing, my soul‘s desire: to live with Him all of my days– in the shadow of His temple, to behold His beauty and ponder His ways in the company of His people. His house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God. He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.
Several years ago my husband and I decided to take a vacation (without the kids). Being the planner that he is, he began asking me prior to our trip what I wanted to do. He wanted to know what tours I wanted to take, if I wanted to shop or sightsee or jet ski. I think my response kind of shocked him. I told him I wanted to do one thing and one thing only – relax! I told him I wanted to do the things that helped me gain refreshment and rest. I wanted to sleep as late as I wanted, eat whatever I wanted, lounge in the sun if I wanted, and read as much as I wanted. And there was one thing I wanted to do in order to truly de-stress – I wanted to enjoy a day at the spa where we were staying! That‘s right, a full day of nothing but pampering! So, I did! The results: rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and a restoration. Oh how I loved doing my One Thing!
Psalm 27:4 speaks of “One Thing,” and I think I know why the psalmist was so intent on “One Thing.” Just as life is complicated now and can pull us in all different directions, I‘m sure it was complicated then, and David, the writer of this Psalm, wanted to focus on his one desire.
Let‘s take this verse apart over the next few weeks and glean a bit of truth from it that will help us all find refuge, refreshment, and renewal.
One Thing …
Why “one thing?“ First off, I think we need to remember that we can‘t be “A.D.D.” with God. It‘s not spiritually healthy for us to run about, wearing ourselves out, constantly doing so many things that we forget to just abide in Him. (John 15) We need a focal point, a goal, a rallying point. Much like a woman in childbirth needs to train her mind to concentrate on a focal point in order to withstand the pain she‘s having to endure, so we need a focal point in order to withstand the “fray and buzz of traffic” mentioned in the verses above. Our mind needs some training! (Romans 12:2)
We need a different perspective. Why? Because the things that tend to draw our eyes draw us away from our “one thing” and weigh us down. Those things are giving us aching backs, tired shoulders, headaches and crows feet! We need to exchange our tired and weary hearts and minds for joy, peace and strength. We need to exchange“those things” for “The One Thing“ – the Lord!
I asked of the LORD …
Who is the psalmist asking?
We need to camp here for a few minutes because this is really significant. The psalmist isn‘t just talking about any old “thing” here. He‘s not asking for just anyone‘s help. He‘s asking for the LORD‘s help (all caps in Scripture denotes a special name of God!).
The LORD is Jehovah or Yahweh. Whenever you hear that name, your spirit should automatically rise up and your countenance should change. Just hearing the name Jehovah should give you a facelift! Why? Because
The LORD is the eternal, unchanging, self-existent, covenant-keeping God, who is and was and is to come. Jehovah is the holiest of names – so holy that it wasn‘t spoken except for once a year by the priest on the Day of Atonement.
The LORD (Jehovah) is the “I AM Who I Am” from Exodus 3:14. Remember that great and powerful God who promised He would bring the Israelites out of Eygpt with a strong hand? Well, He did! If He calls Himself the “Great I Am,” then we can call Him the “Great He Is.” So when I think of Jehovah, I automatically think – “He Is, not He might be.” He‘s not the “Great maybe or possibly or probably.” He Is!
My friend Caryl gave me this illustration recently, and it has really helped me renew my mind about some things. She said this: “What if when we think of a situation (good, bad, or indifferent), we put God in the middle of it. Would that make a difference?“ I took what she said and pondered it for a bit. Yes, what if I put Jehovah in the midst of everything instead of my own solutions, thoughts, and“vain imaginings.” What if I put Jehovah – the eternal, unchanging, self-existent, covenant-keeping God, who is and was and is to come – there. Would that change my perspective at all? YES, it does!
Rather than problem-solving or worrying or fretting, I can place Jehovah smack dab in the middle of my thing and exchange it for The One Thing! Do you know what happens when I do that? My joys and good moments become fabulous moments, and my difficulties become moments of opportunity for Jehovah to be the “Great He Is!“ Talk about a facelift!
Take a look at these names paired with Jehovah and see what it does for you …
- Jehovah-jireh–He Is My Provider
- Jehovah-nissi–He Is My Banner (my encouragement)
- Jehovah-shalom–He Is My Peace
- Jehovah-shammah–He Is There
- Jehovah-sabaoth– He Is the Lord of Hosts (my great battler!)
- Jehovah-raah–He Is My Shepherd
- Jehovah-rapha–He Is My Healer
Who does Jehovah need to be for you today?
What would your “thing” look like if you placed Jehovah in it?
Would your life be any different?
Would your countenance be changed?
Would that de-stress you any at all?
Here‘s a truth to ponder this week …
When my One Thing is the LORD (Jehovah), I can rest in the fact that HE IS in all my other things.
Have a fabulous week!
Jacqueline Heider is the Director of Women’s Ministry,
Prayer & Resource Specialist at Warren Baptist Church.
Visit her blog for more encouragement.