"How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God."
David, the shepherd-king of Israel, knew the secret of practicing the presence of God; his psalms clearly attest to that fact. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by the life and example of King David. If someone as thoroughly human and flawed as he could enjoy intimate fellowship with God, then I know there is hope for all of us! David made many mistakes – he was an adulterer, a murderer, and a less than effective father – yet in spite of these failings, he was a man of great faith who loved the Lord with all his heart.
The phrase “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) is a beautiful description of a person who enjoys an intimate relationship with God, and it fit David perfectly. Just samplings from the Psalms reveal s the power and quality of this relationship from David’s perspective:
“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” – Psalm 5:3
“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.” – Psalm 25:4-5
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple.” – Psalm 27:4
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make it’s boast in the Lord; the humble will heart and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together … O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” – Psalm 34:1-3, 8
“For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” – Psalm 61:3-4
“My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation.” – Psalm 62:1
God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirst for You, my flesh yearns for You, I a dry and weary land where there is no water … Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You … When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” – Psalm 63:1,3,6
Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” - Psalm 86:11
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." – Psalm 91:1-2
“Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways … How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! … Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me is the everlasting way.” – Psalm 139:1-3, 17, 23-24
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land.” - Psalm 143:5-6
“On the glorious splendour of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.” – Psalm 145:5
Dwelling in God, seeking God, thinking of God, waiting in quietness before the Lord – all of these descriptions are related to Practicing The Presence Of God. I think King David summed it up well when he wrote, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
God created us for intimate relationship with Him, and we will never be satisfied with anything less. David knew this; that’s why he loved and pursued God will all his heart. The Lord has called us to do the same. . That is our purpose and our destiny.
(an extract from: The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence by James W. Goll)