Once upon a time…
except this isn’t a fairy tale.
The Ark of the Covenant was enormously important to the people of Israel. It represented the presence of God because when it was in the holy of holies – the innermost part – of the tabernacle, God’s presence came down and rested upon it. That’s why the priest who served there once a year had to be cleansed and then cleansed again. He had to be as perfect as a sinful human can be in order to survive walking into the literal presence of the Lord.
During a siege and battle, the Philistines stole the Ark from the demolished tabernacle and took it away.
David went after and retrieved the Ark, placed it on a cart and started toward home. There was a problem, though. God had ordained that the only way to move the Ark was riding on poles borne by Levites. When a man tried to rescue the Ark from falling by touching the Ark itself, he died instantly. David left it at a home until he could figure things out.
Here in 1 Chronicles 16, the Ark is in Jerusalem, carried there and installed in the special tent set up by David by Levites. The celebration was incredible! Even the king danced! Sacrifices were made and David quickly wrote a song.
In that song of joy and gratitude, he wrote, “Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually!”
What instruction for them and us!
How often do we find ourselves in a pinch, but instead of seeking God, we wave Him off, saying we can handle things on our own?
How much would our stress levels be reduced if instead of continually trying to be god in our circumstances, we sought the True God?
Several years ago I was given the challenge to seek God’s face more than His hands. That is, to seek to be in His presence more than to seek blessings from His hands.
See, when we are in His presence continually, the letting go of control is easier. The release of things and behaviors that don’t please Him is a simple task.
This is why we should yearn to be in His presence.
How many of us have camped out overnight to get *those* concert tickets or to be the first to get the new iPhone or the Best Buy Black Friday sale ? That’s yearning.
That’s how we should feel about getting into God’s presence. Willing to wait however long it takes, do whatever is required to see that door to His presence open and to hear Him welcome us in.
Oh how glorious!
Why would we ever leave that place?
The insatiable desires of the flesh and of the eyes, and pride in possessions. (1 John 2:16)
Today, let’s commit to seeking His strength and yearning for His presence. Let’s determine that no crowd, no desires, no prior engagements, nothing will prevent us from pushing toward being in the presence of Almighty God.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.