Psalm 84:10 says, “For 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.”
That sounds really nice, so nice in fact that we actually have a song written about it.
But do we really believe that? Do we really believe that a day in the presence of God is better than a thousand days apart from the presence of God?
Think about your favorite place on Earth for a second. Or, think about the place on Earth you’d most like to go. Think about a thousand day vacation, all expenses paid, all the food and drink and company (or lack of) that you could want. There’s no responsibilities, no work, no school, no bills to pay. Sounds good, right?
But what if God isn’t there? You aren’t led by the Spirit. You aren’t becoming more like Christ. You aren’t aware of His love for you, or His salvation. The comfort of knowing God is removed. You’ve gotten everything in this world—but you’ve lost God.
Do you still want to go? We all want to be able to say “No, of course not,” but I know, at least for me, there’s a part of me that doesn’t recoil at that thought as much as it should. Here’s the reason why:
We aren’t repulsed all that much by the thought of not being in the presence of God because we’ve lost the joy of living in the presence of God. Like the old saying (or country song, whichever came first), “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone,” many of us, as Christians, take for granted the truth that God is with us.
The God of the universe desires that you walk with Him in His presence in your life here and now and for all eternity. And many of us spend the first 30 minutes of our day with Him, and then we move on to what we have to do. Then we question why we don’t “feel God,” or why He feels so far away. God doesn’t move. We do.
So what do we do? We repent. We believe the gospel. And moving forward, we seek to do all that we do in the presence of God. I love this quote (author unknown): “We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about.”
We live by the grace of God, and moment by moment, depend on it. We rest on His strength, continually seeking Him for it. We seek, in all we do, to worship Him, whether it be in Bible reading or watching a baseball game. This keeps us from idolatry and helps us worship God for everything and in everything. We seek to continually learn more about God, to have a deeper appreciation for Him, and to honor Him, whether at church or at dinner.
And one day, we will be made perfect and we will eternally be in the physical presence of God, and our joy in Him will be made complete. Lord, hasten that day.
May we find our joy in you. May we truly believe that one day with you is better than thousands elsewhere. May we live life in your presence. May you graciously show us what that means and looks like on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis. May we follow you, every day and every hour, to your praise and glory, Father.