Intimate communion

THE BEAUTY OF INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH GOD Psalms 84:1-8

YOUR PRESENCE IS LOVELY V.1

YOUR POSITION IS LAUDED

YOUR PRESENCE IS:

WHAT WE LONG FOR V.2

WHAT WE LANGUISH AFTER

WHAT WE’RE LONELY FOR

THE DESOLATE SPARROW V.3

FINDS RELATIONSHIP

THE DRIFTING SWALLOW

FINDS RELAXATION

FINDS REFUGE

THE DETERMINED SEARCHER

FINDS REALITY

IN ADORATION

even thine altars,

IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

O LORD of hosts,

IN APPROPRIATION

ACCEPTING HIS PATH

my King,

ACCEPTING HIS PROVIDENCE

and my God.

ACCEPTING HIS PLACE V.4

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:

ACCEPTING HIS PRAISE

they will be still praising thee Selah.

ACCEPTING HIS POWER V.5

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;

ACCEPTING HIS PATH

in whose heart are the ways of them.

ACCEPTING HIS PERSPECTIVE V.6

“David says,

“Your face will I seek” Ps 27:8

But isn’t God everywhere?

Yes, of course,

He’s omnipresent—he is everywhere Ps 139:7–12

What does it mean, then,

to seek His face & to “draw near” if He is everywhere already?

When we speak to someone, we don’t look down.

We don’t stare at their feet.

We look at the person by looking at their face.

The face is the place of response.

This is where we look for reception & relationship.

The face is our door of access into a person’s mind & heart.

To seek God’s face is not to find some place in space where God is located.

It’s not a building where God resides,

It’s not a shrine to do chants.

God’s face & His presence is approached by our hearts

God’s face is seen through the enabling of His Spirit

God’s Spirit speaks through God’s Word to give us a sense of God’s reality & presence.

Jesus guaranteed that He is always with us.

We are called by God to “pray & seek His face”

But we lose track of God in our trials.

We easily doubt His presence & question His involvement & care.

When we lose a sense of God’s presence we feel we have lost God’s face.

It hurts to feel that He’s turned His face from us.

We can echo David’s cry in Ps 13:1

How long will You forget me, O LORD?

for ever?

how long will You hide Your face from me?

To seek His face is to seek communion with Him.

This is to experience a real interaction with God,

sharing our thoughts & His love

YOUR PRESENCE IS LOVELY V.1

How amiable are Your tabernacles,

We “behold the glory (amiable beauty) of God in the face of Jesus Christ”

The tabernacles in the Old Testament times were a tent

they hauled this tent around in the wilderness & constructed

this tent at each place they stopped.

This was where the Lord lived & met with them.

The tabernacle in our lives today is seen in John 1:14

And the Word was made flesh & tabernacled among us,

(and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)

full of grace & truth.

When Jesus tabernacle (tent) was dismantled,

everything went dark but God shined through the dark times

by bring Jesus back from death.

For God, who commanded

the light to shine out of darkness,

has shined in our hearts,

to give the light of the knowledge

of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor. 4:6

Now Jesus tabernacles in us through His indwelling Spirit

We are His tent

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,

that the excellency of the power may be of God,

and not of us.

2 Cor. 4:7

We can get hung up on how we think or feel.

That is why we have to rest our faith & hope in God’s power.

So that our faith would not rest on men’s wisdom

(our thoughts & feelings)

but on God’s power through His Word.

1 Cor 2:5

Now we know that if the earthly tent

we live in is dismantled,

we have a building from God,

an eternal house in heaven,

not built by human hands.

2 Cor 5:1

The Scottish Psalter renders this text with poetic elegance

How lovely is Thy dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts, to me!

The tabernacles of Thy grace

How pleasant, Lord, they be!

My thirsty soul longs vehemently,

Yea, faints, Thy courts to see:

My very heart & flesh cry out,

O living God, for Thee.

YOUR POSITION IS LAUDED

O LORD of hosts!

Is a reference to the sovereign LORD of hosts.

He has the grace to always be there for each of us.

We come to Him through faith

in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our King of glory,

He, who commands the armies of heaven

He, who will eventually defeat all His enemies in the universe.

Jesus Christ, He is our LORD of hosts.

He is the almighty one who controls everything.

YOUR PRESENCE IS:

WHAT WE LONG FOR V.2

My soul longs,

WHAT WE LANGUISH AFTER

yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD:

WHAT WE’RE LONELY FOR

my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God.

My Soul, my heart & my flesh.

These could refer to our emotions,

our reason or thinking processes & our will,

that place in our person where we decide & choose.

We long & faint in our soul.

Longing means feeling the most intense desire.

Fainting means we are exhausted with that intensity of desire.

But is it for a physical place?

What makes a house into a home?

Is it a beautiful building?

Is it having an ivory palace?

Can a marble mansion satisfy?

The reality is that material things are never enough.

A glorious castle & even a majestic cathedral is,

basically, only an empty shell, a soulless sad body.

What we want is the sense of being face to face with Jesus.

THE DESOLATE SPARROW

Yes, the sparrow

FINDS RELATIONSHIP

hath found an house,

Sparrows are a symbol for something that is almost worthless.

In Jerusalem children caught sparrows to get a little bit of spending money.

They sold two for a farthing (penny) & five for two farthings

Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6

Yet the sparrow found a home near God’s altar Ps. 84:3

Will God not also provide a home for us,

who are worth much more than sparrows?

When he was referring to a sparrow’s value, Jesus said,

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

Yet not one of them will fall to the ground

apart from the will of your Father.…

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

Matt. 10:29, 31

Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote about sparrows

thoughtfully, comparing them to Gods people:

“I look down some street & see a humble chapel

where a group of simple people worship the Lord

in the beauty of holiness,

They’re despised & rejected of men,

even as was their Lord & I know

that this is the rich reality of spiritual truth.

Here are the sparrows who find their nest

at the cross of Jesus Christ.

Here is those who are viewed as worthless

that finds its worth because the Savior died.”

THE DRIFTING SWALLOW

and the swallow

FINDS RELAXATION

a nest for herself,

FINDS REFUGE

where she may lay her young,

Swallows.

One has written:

The swallow is a Bible’s symbol of restlessness.

It is a bird that is always in the air,

winging its way from point to point

from the earliest glimmer of dawn to after sunset.

It wearies the watcher who is trying to keep it in view.

But then the time comes for it to mate & raise young,

and the swallow builds a nest & settles down on it to rest peacefully.

This is a picture of the soul apart from God & then in God,

when at last it comes to rest in the Lord

Alexander Maclaren said,

“There is only one being in this world

that does not fit the world that he is in,

and that is man, chief & foremost of all.

Other beings perfectly correspond

to what we now call their ‘environment.’ ”

He meant what Saint Augustine meant

when he wrote in words much better known,

“Our hearts are restless till they rest in God.”

We find our rest in God,

no more flitting around,

no more wandering & restless.

God gives us peace.

Even the swallow found “a nest for herself,

where she may have her young—

a place near Your altar.”

Kenneth Ellison wrote:

“You hesitate at my garden gate,

as I watch & patiently wait.

The gateway is swung wide

and I bid you enter inside.

Come nearer my weary child,

and linger for a restful while.

Wipe dry your tear stained face,

there is soothing in my grace.

Walk with me along the pathway

I will ease your suffering away,

Hold firm my hand as we tarry,

your heavy burdens I will carry.

Renew in my strength as we stroll,

for I will comfort and consol,

We will while away pleasant hours

beneath the fragrant rose bowers.

Sit with me where the roses grow,

Feel the healing glow of love flow,

hold near to me beneath the bough,

I will smooth your furrowed brow.

Here where the dew drops glisten

speak to me child and I will listen,

Give to me your trouble and trials,

I will restore your forgotten smiles.

My love for you knows no bounds,

Let my grace and mercy surround,

Feel your sorrows ebb then cease,

through me there is blissful peace.

I will caress and ease you through

whatever heartache may visit you,

Trust my love to light your pathway,

when troubles would turn you astray.

Life is brimmed with doubts and fear

but be of brave heart for I am near,

As problems encircle you and harden,

come unto me child, rest in my garden.”

Ellison

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Harvest the honey

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,

sweet to the soul &

health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

But what are bitter words like?

They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter cruel words like deadly arrows.

Psalms 64:3

For behold, the wicked bend their bows;

they set their arrow on the string to shoot from the shadows

Psalms 11:2

My soul is among the lions; I lie down with ravenous beasts

whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

Psalm 57:4

Bitter words are sharp, stabbing, cowardly & vicious.

For thousands of years, we’ve enjoyed the sweet delights of honey.

Bees collect nectar from flowers & return to their hive

where they store it in wax honeycombs.

They create honey as a food source for themselves during the winter,

but we take excess honey & collect it for ourselves

I used to have a dozen bee hives.

There was one hive that was twice as productive

In giving the sweetest honey.

The interesting thing about that hive was the guard bees were more numerous

They would whack me from every angle in a bitter stinging rage.

I would brush them off the comb with a soft brush

then place each frame of honey into a centrifuge

to spin the honey loose from the wax combs.

Honey is an illustration of the power of words.

Just as honey brings delight & satisfaction,

so can pleasant & edifying words build us up.

Just as nutritious foods help to build human health,

so wise & loving words can build up the spiritual & emotional health

Building up others (“edifying”) is a major responsibility.

We’re to pursue “the things by which we can edify another” Rom 14:19

We Look for a way to build up & encourage others by the words we speak

We want our words be like honey to others soul

If our heart is sweet with honey our tongue wags with upbuilding power

But our hearts can be more productive of honey if we can convert the bitter raging

stings of those who are bent on a savage attack on our souls.

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah,

for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah.

Exodus 15:23

And Moses cried to the LORD & the LORD showed him a tree,

which when he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet:

there the Lord tested them. Exodus 15:25

Dont think it strange when a bitter fiery trial test us,

as though some strange thing happened unto us,

but rejoice, we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings,

that, when his glory is revealed,

we will be glad with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12,13

Don’t beat on the bees that sting

Jesus said, Put up your sword into the sheath;

the cup which my Father has given me,

shall I not drink it? John 18:11

Don’t beat the bees. Just harvest the honey!!!

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Embracing extravagance

When we understand our acceptance in Christ,

We’ll never feel rejection by people.

Nobody can ever take away what they didn’t give us.

We’re free of penalties & punishments of our misdeeds.

And not just barely free, either.

Abundantly free!

God thought of everything,

God provided for everything we need,

God let us in on His plans

God takes such delight in us

Jesus, I can’t stop thanking God for You—

every time I pray, I think of You & give thanks.

I ask— You God & You Lord Jesus Christ,

to make us all enlightened & discerning

in knowing You personally,

Make our eyes focused & clear,

Let us hear Your voice

Let us feel Your presence,

Let us grasp the immensity of Your glorious ways

Let us embrace Your utter extravagance

Let us trust in Your endless energy & boundless strength!

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Climate dynamics

Jesus controls climate change

He melts & He freezes where He wants & when He wants

The same sun that melts the ice hardens the mud

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Seeing through prayer

“Where others see rebellion, we see thirst,

Where others see apathy, we see yearning.

Where others see alienation, we see quest.”

Where others see defeat we see victory

When others attack us we see answered prayers

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Prayers reward

God rewards all who diligently seek Him

So in prayer we bring Him His Words

He is tender to His Word

He loves To be reminded of His promises

That why He made them to us

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Benefits of Gods voice

Here’s Twenty Benefits of Being in God’s Word

But these benefits from letting Gods voice into our minds & hearts benefit only as we trust

what He’s saying. And this trust in His voice over all other voices grows the more we listen to His Word

while giving no never mind to the myriad of nonsensical babblings of the confusers

1. GODS WORD LEADS TO JOY.

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart. (v. 2)

The NLT translates the word blessed as joyful. The word can also be translated happy. Knowing and seeking God through His Word is a joy-filling activity, and who among us doesn’t need some joy?

2. GODS WORD CAN KEEP US FROM SINNING.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (v. 9)

God’s Word is like a trained guard put in place to keep the peace. When we use it accordingly, it can keep us from straying, but when we ignore it we have little hope of not wandering.

3. GODS WORD OFFERS FREE COUNSELING.

Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. (v. 24)

How many times have I needed advice? Lots. How many times have I needed perspective? Too many to count. God’s Word is the best kind of counselor.

4. GODS WORD GUARDS AGAINST THE TRAP OF SELF-SEEKING

Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (v. 36)

Why is this so important? Because self-seeking is a trap. It does not lead to the fulfillment it promises, but to a pervasive emptiness. Yet to pursue God above our own interests is to find the gratification we’re really looking for.

5. GODS WORD GIVES US HOPE.

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. (v. 43)

We have hope in God’s rules not because they are restrictive, but because they are redemptive. Where God commands He also promises. Where God gives little room for wavering He makes great space for blessing.

6. GODS WORD GRANTS US FREEDOM.

And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. (v. 45)

True freedom is not found in living however I want. True freedom is found through living in right relation to God. God’s commandments provide the boundaries for doing so.

7. GODS WORD BRINGS COMFORT IN AFFLICTION.

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (v. 50)

No matter the circumstances the Word of God offers relief when nothing else can. His promises are true and stand firm through every situation.

8. GODS WORD GIVES US SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT.

Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. (v. 54)

When is it that we tend to sing? When we’re happy, right? As we make our way through life, the assurance of God’s Word and His faithfulness to it fills us with joy. This gives us much cause to sing.

9. GODS WORD IS AN ANCHOR OF TRUTH AMID A SEA OF LIES.

The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts. (v. 69)

The psalmist goes on to say, “The sum of your word is truth” (v. 160). No matter what, God’s Word is always true and able to keep us from falling for the vast and persuasive lies of the devil.

10. GODS WORD ALLOWS US TO BE AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS.

Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies. (v. 79)

How many of us feel confident in our ability to lead others? Maybe some. When we live according to God’s Word we can be sure of our ability to lead rightly—especially when teaching our children.

11. GODS WORD OFFERS US HOPE WHILE WE WAIT.

My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. (v. 81)

Waiting is equal partners with faith and an inevitable part of life. But while we wait, it’s God’s Word that offers us hope.

12. GODS WORD SUSTAINS US DURING HARD SEASONS.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. (v. 92)

Have you ever felt so down and out you didn’t think you could go on? So did the psalmist, yet the Word of God sustained him, even in the hardest of moments.

13. GODS WORD IS LIFE GIVING.

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. (v. 93)

I once was lost, but now I’m found. I once was dead, but now I’m alive. How? The Word of God and the Spirit of God working powerfully in me.

14. GODS WORD GIVES WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. (v. 99)

There is no wisdom apart from God. In Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). To know the Word is to know Christ, and to know Christ is to know God, and to know God is to know wisdom.

15. GODS WORD LIGHTS THE PATH WE SHOULD TAKE.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (v. 105)

Are you unsure about which way to go? The Word is a light to the right path. This path will always lead to God and not away; it will lead toward righteousness and not toward sin.

16. GODS WORD KEEPS US FROM FALLING INTO THE ENEMY’S TRAPS.

The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. (v. 110)

Navigating difficult people can be well, difficult. But God’s Word lends us the proper course to keep us upright.

17. GODS WORD ACTS AS A SHIELD AROUND US.

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. (v. 114)

God’s Word is our defense, for it will never fail us. God’s Word is a refuge, for it will never leave us. There is one place we can always hide when the enemy comes calling: God’s faithfulness to His Word.

18. GODS WORD HELPS US KNOW THE CHARACTER OF GOD.

Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules. (v. 137)

The Word reveals who God is and what He has done. Apart from the Word we’d never know Him and His righteousness.

19. GODS WORD IS HOW WE EXPERIENCE THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD.

Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. (v. 140)

If we don’t know what God says, how will we know that He’s faithful? And if we don’t trust Him to fulfill His Word, how will we ever notice His providence? Knowing and trusting in God’s Word is experiencing His peace-filled, steadfast, constant deliverance.

20. GODS WORD GIVES US PEACE.

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. (v. 165)

God made our souls to live in accordance with Him and His Word. So when we don’t, something feels off. But when we make God’s Word our priority, we find a refuge of peace.

Come on, we have no reason not to sink ourselves deep into the Word of God

We have every reason to do it right now.

Don’t wait.

Let the Word of God be the daily mediation of our heart,

Then we’ll too can know

the life-giving,

the life-sustaining,

the joy-filling,

the peace-providing abundance of God’s Word.

Stacey Salsbery

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