One Thing

"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." Psalm 27:4....."We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." Goethe.....And so it must follow that we are also shaped and fashioned by the heart of the One who loves us.

We ask and seek so many things of and from Him. To what extend do we ask for what the Psalmist does in 27:4? We seek help in trouble. We seek deliverance from problems. We seek provision in the midst of need. We seek for everything, but so often, it is everything but Him. What would our world be? What would our homes and families be? What would His Church be......if we did?
Why do we not seek such a relationship with Him? Why do we seek so many other things before the "one thing?" Jack Deere said that so many of us walk through life with knowledge that our earthly parents, particularly our fathers, love us, but we have never truly experienced the feeling, the affection of their love. This also carries over to our relationship with our Father God. He said that often, after teaching his students about the love of God the Father, many of them would come to him afterwards and tell him, with their eyes upon the floor, that they knew God loved them. He would ask them, "If you know this, why our your eyes (and spirit) looking downward?" We know, intellectually, that He loves us, but rarely do we experience the fullness, the feeling of His love. And I believe that more than we long for that, He longs for us to know and feel it.

Betty Robison, the wife of evangelist James Robison, struggled with a life-long difficulty in believing that God truly loved her. Therefore she was trapped in a performance/perfection idea of earning that love. She equated everything with how well she performed and how perfectly she obeyed. It was a terrible struggle for her. One night, as she lay praying in bed, while husband James read beside her, she began to just gently weep. Alarmed, James asked her what was wrong. She answered that there was nothing wrong, just that her God was "loving me." His love washed over her, and she knew and was experiencing His sheer delight in her. Just simply because He created her, knew her, and loved her...flaws and all.
Deere says that the most effective way to love God is to first experience the depths of His love for us. This is what the Scripture means when it declares, "We love Him because He first loved us." When we know such love, Psalm 27:4 can become our reality. When it becomes our reality, we begin to walk in the wholeness and fullness of life that He created us for. Life is no longer about somehow making it through. It's now about knowing, loving, and walking with Him. Life and all of its "stuff" is secondary. Like Paul, "Knowing Christ, and Him crucified," is what defines us. Moment by moment we dwell in His house as we dwell, abide in Him. Moment by moment we gaze upon His beauty as His beauty remakes us into His image. We stop striving and start becoming. And everything is changed.
I know that we have badly distorted the character and meaning of His love, producing a God made in our own image. Even so, I think we all struggle to some degree to not only believe He really does love us, but to feel and experience that love as well. We fear that it's not so. Perfect love casts out all fear. Fear of not being good enough, pleasing enough, lovely enough. He created us for and calls us to this perfect love. No, not the world's syrupy, all about our feelings love, but a powerful love that can be realized nowhere but at His cross. At the cross we realize just how deep His love for us is, and how high, wide, and far we can walk with Him in that love. The "one thing" of our life becomes Him. His holiness, purity, wonder is what we see, and what we seek. Is that what we have? Are we seeking, gazing upon all the "other things," or He who is the One thing? Where are you dwelling today?

Pastor O
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   July 2019   
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