One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I see after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4
If you could have one wish, what would it be? Cure cancer? Establish world peace? Have children? Get married? Be debt free? Eat ice cream every day and never gain weight? Maybe you are the practical type and would just ask for more wishes.
We all have wishes: things we’d like to change about ourselves, our circumstances, or our world. King David had a lifelong wish as well. In Psalm 27:1-4, David outlines the ultimate desire of his heart. Since David was known to be a man after God’s own heart, it’s worth looking at his heart’s wish.
Before we can look inside David’s heart, we have to look at where he has placed his heart. In Psalm 27:1-3, David establishes that his life is held secure in God’s hands. David has firmly placed his trust in God. He trusts God to lead, save, and protect him. David is so sure of God’s protection that he is not afraid. He does not worry about enemies or adversaries. Even when he is under siege, he is not afraid.
When I feel overwhelmed, anxious and afraid, I need to stop and ask myself: “Where have I placed my heart? Have I placed it in my job? My friendships? My bank account? My health? My children?” I need to get truthful with myself and look to see where I have placed my heart. Fear is a clue for me that something is wrong with my heart. It can be a sign that I have stopped trusting God with the details of my life.
David is confident he’s going to be okay no matter what because he has placed his life in God’s hands. To David’s heart, God’s protection is greater than any fear he will face. He doesn’t need to wish for protection or salvation from what he fears, because he knows he is safe. If I am going to follow David’s example, I need to do the same thing and entrust my heart to God’s hands.
By placing the control of his life in God’s hands, David is free to pursue his heart’s desire. So, what is David’s wish? What does he ask for? What does he seek? Let’s look what is inside David’s heart and find his one wish.
In Psalm 27:4, David articulates his wish. His one wish is to simply be with the Lord. David’s biggest desire in life is to hang out with God every day. He wants to sit with God, listen to Him, and talk to Him. He wants to know God and be known by Him. He wants an intimate relationship with God. David wants God to be his best friend.
If I am honest with myself, spending time with God is not always my top priority. I often seek a clean sink or folded laundry before a moment with my Lord. I’ll choose to listen to an audiobook while on a run instead of engaging in a conversation with my God. I’ll text a friend before I kneel in prayer. In not seeking God’s presence first, I let fears and worries creep into my unguarded heart.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle. Fear causes me to worry about all kinds of things and circumstances. Because my life is not firmly planted in the hands of my Lord, I am trying to control it instead of relinquishing it. The desire of my heart is not for a deeper relationship with God, but with being free from the hard circumstances surrounding me. Desiring to be free from my fears leads me to wish for the wrong things.
But, what if I changed my wish? What if I stopped wishing to be free from my fears and wished instead that God would use my fears to draw me closer to Him? What if I took my worries and sat down with Him and shared them, as if He was my closest confidante? What if every day I spent more time with Him than without Him? What if I just took a moment each day and gazed around me and saw Him? What if I incorporated conversation with Him throughout the routine of my day?
Maybe, just maybe, then like David I too can say with confidence: “the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid...one thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” (Psalm 21:1-4). I don’t know about you, but I want to make my wishes count.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.