One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I 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 inquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4)
Here the Psalmist suggests a focus and a single mind. “One thing” implies the steadfast eye and a single purpose. This resolve influences everything else. It suggests that there is no other pursuit that will compare with this one thing! This goal is loftier than the pursuit of gold and silver! (Matthew 6:19,20)
Next, this great prize will not be found without effort. It must be sought! The Psalmist states that he is willing to make the sacrifice to find it. God commands, “seek my face” (vs.8)! The Psalmist answers, “Your face Lord I will seek”. (vs.8) Furthermore, the poet implores, “Teach me, your way, Oh Lord”. (vs.11) The writer is willing to make a diligent effort to find his prize.
Next, the Psalmist’s seeks 1) to “dwell in the house of the Lord”, 2) “to behold his beauty”, and 3) “to inquire in his temple”. (vs. 4) Here he expresses his desire: 1) to worship God, 2) to appreciate God’s awesomeness and graciousness, and 3) to know God’s will. These three may also be summarized as “fellowship” with God. This sweet communion with God is the Psalmist’s single pursuit. As a favorite hymn states “I want you more than gold or silver, only you can satisfy, you alone are the real joy giver and the apple of my eye.”
Finally, he has assurance that his pursuit will result in God’s protection in troubling times, “for he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret place of his tabernacle.” (vs.5) “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” (vs. 10) When his world falls apart he knows that God will be his helper.
Therefore, he exhorts us to “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” (vs. 14)
Paul wrote, “Let all bitterness … be put away from you” (Eph. 4:31). Christians today need this admonition so very badly. In the midst of all the controversies now raging among brethren, bitterness is everywhere evident.
One of the most dreadful things about this problem is that few are able to see any signs of bitterness in themselves. It is only in others that we see this fault. We all stoutly declare our own innocence.
Yet bitterness toward brethren often shows in the following ways:
1. A critical spirit: This does not mean that constructive criticism is wrong, but this critical spirit manifests itself in that we become faultfinders almost habitually. We may seek to find faults.
2. Those with whom we differ become constant victims of our ire. Whatever they do, we search it with a critical eye, seeking error in it.
3. Sometimes our criticism is in complete conflict with principles of common decency, and courtesy. We make our criticism actual attacks upon people for whom we should be deeply concerned and for whom love should fill our hearts even if we do disagree with them.
This bitterness is a double — barreled problem. Bitterness in my heart will hurt the one whom I oppose, but bitterness will hurt me more than it will him. My own heart is sure to fall victim and be shrunk into an evil one. In other words bitterness is accumulative–a speck of it will grow into a mountain in our own heart.
Bitterness will undoubtedly keep many out of heaven. Let’s put it out of our lives, for it is altogether unbecoming to the gospel of Christ which we believe and to which we have claimed.