Rusty Whitener - PASTOR, NOVELIST, SCREENWRITER

One Thing from Psalm 27:4November 2, 2015

Here’s what is changing me these days: I decided to experiment and see if I can be satisfied, entirely satisfied, with just looking on the Lord or His Son Jesus, who is also the Lord, all day and night, all my waking hours. By “looking on Jesus,” I mean remembering Him always, thinking of Him, AWARE of Him.

I am fixating on King David’s lines from his song Psalm 27:4. “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.”

David is clearly saying that this ONE THING was all he needed, and if he does get this ONE THING he is seeking, it will mean a marvelous super-abundance of amazing delight to his soul. In fact the literal Hebrew of the phrase “to behold the beauty of the Lord” is “to behold the delightfulness of the Lord.”

I was, of course, sure that this would NOT come close to satisfying me, and that my experiment was silly. I mean, everybody knows David was crazy. Maybe he still is, up there dancing in his underwear, worshipping God. Maybe HE could be satisfied by this one thing, and maybe some other crazies like Daniel, Corrie Ten Boom, and Mother Teresa. But the rest of us need TV. We need barbecue. We need money. And our phone. And our health. Everybody says if you have your health you have everything. The problem with that is we are all dying. We are born and then we move toward expiration. So even when we think we have good physical health, what we really have is a temporary stay of execution. I’m just honestly saying, if we make our physical health the one thing we ask from the Lord, the one thing we shall seek, then we will never be a person like David of whom God says, “I have found David…a man after My own heart.”

Anyway, every day I wake up and starting thinking of David’s “one thing.” And it stays with me. It’s unsettling. It’s also empowering. And peaceable. I think it may be the answer. I mean THE answer. To everything.

Consider what David could have specified as his ONE THING. If we could ask from the Lord ONE THING, what would it be? Happiness? Money? A nice place to live? Power to work miracles? Miraculous vision to see the future? There are all sorts of such dust particles we might ask for. Even some finer dust particles, like security, or purpose, or just peaceful circumstances for our lives. Many of these things, in proper measure, are good things. But they are not David’s ONE THING. Which means they are apparently not God’s ONE THING, since God called David “a man after My own heart.”

So David’s ONE THING is, it seems, to have his gaze fixed on the Lord, seeing God’s “beauty” or God’s “delightfulness.” And David’s ONE THING includes meditating in God’s dwelling place (the temple). I feel certain that dwelling in the house of the Lord does not mean hanging out in our local church building, though of course that is a good thing to do! I believe it means looking on the beauty, the delightfulness of the Lord, right where we are, at any and all given moments. For all who know the Lord, the Lord is with us, and His Spirit dwells IN US, and He goes before us. He STAYS with us. If you listen to PAR-FM, you’ve heard the song, “He is with us, He is with us…ALWAYS.”

Of course, we do not always look at Him, and in fact sometimes strictly avoid looking at Him. Other times we forget to look at Him, to “behold the delightfulness of the Lord.” We are too busy, or too focused on our immediate agenda, or even our long-term plan, to look upon the Lord. But He’s still with us, beside us, and in front of us. In us.

I have so far been through a kind of SHOCK and AWE at how satisfying it is to gaze at Jesus all day and into the night. My journals over the past couple weeks are full of my shock at being, more than satisfied, in fact transported to a delightful, beautiful place where “all things hold together.”

“In Him all things hold together.” Look at Him. And make it your goal to not stop looking at Him through all the moments of your day and night.

It’ll make you as crazy, and entirely satisfied, as David.