Can you think of places where the Lord has revealed Himself to you in a special way – times when God’s presence has seemed so real to you? … I can! The list includes my time of salvation very early in life as a small boy in a little church in Ronan, Montana. Then the time when I was genuinely “baptized in the Holy Spirit” (same church – a powerful, empowering time, in the Lord’s presence!) I can recall the time when I received my call to ministry at a children’s summer camp. I remember a powerful and profound time of recommitment as a teenager. And then there was a communion service in which it seemed like waves of God’s love swept over me again and again, inundating me. Words like “precious!” and “profound!” come to mind to describe those experiences. They were defining places and events in my life. They are vivid in my memory even today! Some of them happened in a church service or building … others did not.
Psalm 84 is a song celebrating the Temple – Where God revealed Himself, and the Lord’s presence was sensed there. The Psalmist even pictures a small bird seeking to find a place to build a nest – a home in the temple to enjoy God’s presence! I’ve given you a taste of the Psalm below… Allow its words to catalyze memories of the Lord’s revelation and presence in your life in the past and awaken a desire for fresh encounters with Him wherever and whenever He chooses to reveal Himself to you in a special way… I did today (and it was wonderful!)…
“How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the Living God.
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God!
“Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise! Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion…
“A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!”
(From Psalm 84 English Standard Version)