“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 inquire in his temple.”
Psalm 27:4, ESV
I’m going to be completely honest: I ask God for a lot, but one thing I don’t find myself asking Him for is to dwell in His house all the days of my life. There’s something strange about that request for us simply because we’re temples of the Holy Spirit—we don’t have to ask to dwell in the house of the Lord because the Lord dwells in us. But still, my longing for God is nowhere near that of the psalmist’s, and it’s far too easy for me to take the presence of God for granted.
I want to intentionally gaze upon the wonderfulness of God as naturally as I breathe. But I’m prone to be more fixated on the issues of my life, the problems of the world, and even my iPhone than on the One I’m called to fix my eyes upon.
When was the last time you purposely gazed upon the beauty of the Lord and thought, “How wonderful?” And when was the last time you—to borrow from the New Living Translation—delighted in the Lord’s perfections?
We don’t often use the word, “delight,” in our vocabulary aside from the cute names of desserts. When I hear that word, I think of happy thoughts and pure bliss. But in Psalm 27, delighting is an intentional choice made in the context of conflict and trouble. And this is where the Psalmist challenges us: we can gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and delight in His perfections when our lives are far from perfect.
In the midst of insecurity and feelings of not being enough, let’s gaze upon the Lord’s perfect love.
In the midst of waiting, let’s gaze upon the Lord’s perfect timing.
When people hurt us, let’s gaze upon the Lord’s perfect forgiveness and mercy towards us.
In seasons of wilderness and God’s silence, let’s gaze upon the faithful steps of the Lord we cannot see.
When we feel overwhelmed by all the bad stuff in the world, let’s gaze upon the goodness of a compassionate God who loves justice.
And in the midst of celebration, let’s gaze upon the Lord’s perfect grace upon grace.
This is my challenge for you: Today, purposefully gaze upon the wonderfulness of God by picking one attribute of God to think about throughout your day. If you don’t know what the attributes of God are, you can do a quick Google search. When you decide which attribute of God you’re going to focus on today, use it as a springboard for worship and prayer.