Dwelling in the Secret Place – 4

Written Oct 2012: Psalm 84:1-2 speak of God’s dwelling place. It reads, “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” I have read these verses many, many times. I desire to feel the same way, but yet, I often don’t. This week I realized why. It is important to learn about the God I serve. To read my Bible and understand Who He is, what His character is like, etc. It is a vital element in our relationship. It can be likened to any relationship where you learn about each other. You can sit across the table on a date and ask questions and He can answer those for you. That communication never ends. That learning about someone is never complete. There is always more to know. But it can seem very “arms reach” away. It does not get to the level of intimacy spoken of in the above verses. That comes only in prayer. I can read my Bible everyday and understand more and more about Him, but without prayer, I am still sitting across the table. Now sometimes there can be those superficial prayers, the ones that are said from across the table. They are good. But still not intimate. They really don’t expose me. There is something very different that happens in a relationship when a deeper level of intimacy is reached. That “touch” changes things. When we bare our hearts and souls before God, when we take our clothes off and stand naked before Him, things change. There is no fear before Him. He created me. He knows me. There is nothing base or unholy about it. There is no self consciousness, no guilt, no hiding. Only love and acceptance. If there is something that needs to be confessed, I can do that and immediately restore our relationship. Here I can feel the love of His embrace. I can enjoy His touch.
When Jesus taught us to pray, He started with praise. Praising Him in the Spirit, in this intimate moment, is like making love. There is nothing on earth like the fullness of heart and soul that comes from praising the only One worthy of our worship. And it is all the more intimate when we raise our hands. It just seems that the act of raising our hands opens a level of vulnerability before Him and takes down any reservation that may be there. Here I understand what the psalmist was saying: “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” And later on in the same Psalm (verse 10) he says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.” Now I get it. There is nothing like this anywhere. Nothing so pure, so completely fulfilling, so personal and intimate as praising Him. This is the one relationship that can truly fill the empty places in my being. The most honest and open communication comes after love making. Holding each other and knowing that there is nothing left to hide, all can be discussed with love and forgiveness flowing freely. Now I can confess and be restored. Now I can seek guidance and petition for those things that I need. Now I can rest in His arms of love and simply enjoy our communion together. Our relationship comes alive when I pray. I can’t have one (Bible reading) without the other (prayer). They work in balance. They compliment each other. They are both parts of the Whole. It is the Bible that tells us that through prayer we can find peace (Phil 4:6-7). It is the Bible that tells us that we can “come boldly before the throne of Grace” (Heb 4:16). It is the Bible that tells us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). It is the Bible that tells us in 1 Thess 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” As long as I have breath, I will praise the Lord (Ps 150:6). And there it is. My heart and my soul cry out for the living God!

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