Last week while I was at the House of Prayer Edmonton prayer room there was a specific phrase that I sensed the Holy Spirit highlighting to me. It was a spontaneous worship chorus that was being sung at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (via webstream)
I don’t want to be entertained by the things of the world; I want to be fixed on beauty
This was in the midst of a week when we were focusing on Psalm 27. In Ps. 27:4 King David writes:
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: 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 seek him in his temple. (italics added)
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for entertainment; and no, I do NOT think God exists for my entertainment; far from it! However, here’s the point I’d like to make: We often use entertainment as a means to relax and to renew us. Especially here in western society it is a high value to spend as much time as possible ‘relaxing’ or to use a more common phrase, ‘to chill out’. When we have had a hard, busy week what do we like to do? We want to ‘chill out’ and that almost always involves various forms of entertainment.
What if God was to give us a new paradigm of what it means to ‘chill out’? For most people, to ‘chill out’ almost always means to disengage and mentally check out from everything. But what if we were renewed and restored by being spiritually and mentally engaged with God? What would it look like to be renewed by being fixed on beauty?
I want to suggest that this is exactly how King David lived and what he described in Psalm 27:4. The context of Psalm 27 is during a very stressful time in David’s life. His anxiety levels were high and he was surely very preoccupied with what was happening around him. Yet his response was to take extended time to ‘gaze upon the beauty of the Lord’. David lived his life being inwardly renewed by fixing his gaze on the beauty of God.
Think about your week. What will you do on the weekend, or whenever you have time for a break? What role does entertainment have in your life? Does it renew you?
Now I would like to be clear about this: I’m not speaking against good, legitimate forms of entertainment. The problem is that very often we settle for spending so much time on lesser things in the hope that they will renew and restore us that we have little time and patience for what promises to renew us: God himself. The apostle Paul writes that we are designed in such a way that we are renewed according to the true knowledge of God our Creator (Col. 3:10).
I want to encourage you to take time to think about this. The implications are significant. The Scriptures make a bold promise: that you and I will find our greatest fulfillment and inward renewal when we gaze (meaning contemplate or meditate) on God himself!
We need to become more and more like King David, as people who are fixed on beauty!
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