One Thing I Ask

By Pastor Teck Uy

When we talk of our desires and dreams, they are countless and we wish that we can have them all. The reality, however, is that we cannot have all that we desire. However, if we are given the chance to make just one choice, what would be that one thing that we will ask from the Lord? In the case of King David, he was able to identify that one thing that would satisfy all of his desires. He said, “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” (Psalm 27:4). After having been blessed with riches, honour and power, King David realized that there was just one thing that matters in life: God. If we have him, we will have everything.

The truth that God is all we need to have everything in life was emphasized by the Lord Jesus Christ when he said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). While God is all that we need in life, many have misplaced beliefs resulting in wrong priorities. They would seek the provisions rather than the provider. As a consequence, there is no end to their toil. But if we have God with us, he will abundantly provide for our needs. The Psalmist beautifully presented the uselessness of seeking the provision rather than the provider when he said, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2).

But how can we find God and the promised blessings? King David revealed where God is when he said that God is in his temple. This truth moved David to desire to dwell in the house of the Lord and enjoy the Lord’s fellowship and blessings. Reading through the Book of Psalms, there are three major blessings that those who seek the Lord in his temple will receive. The first blessing is protection. King David said, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5). There is no better place to be when we are in trouble but the House of the Lord. It is where we can commune with God and be shielded from the attacks of the devil as we pray and seek his face. Also, it is where believers come and encourage one another as they contend against a common enemy, the devil.

The second blessing is provisions. The Lord said of Zion where the temple was, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it- I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy” (Psalm 132:14-16). The House of the Lord provides not only for our spiritual needs but physical needs as well. It is in the House of the Lord that we bring our tithes and offerings. And the Lord’s promise is to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Mal. 3:10). It is in the House of the Lord that God provides for our spiritual nourishment which we need to grow in faith. Needless to say, keeping the Sabbath holy is key to his abundant provisions.

The third blessing is revival of our soul. In Psalm 84, the Psalmist described the beauty of the House of the Lord and concluded, “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84:4). Praise brings us closer to God. It gets our focus off ourselves and back to God. As we praise the Lord together in the House of the Lord, he inhabits our praises. Our corporate praise is powerful as it will drive the enemies away. When the Israelites, led by King Jehoshaphat, were besieged by their enemies, they used the power of praise. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (2 Chron. 20:22). More importantly, praise refreshes and revives our spirit and soul. It gives us the power to overcome sin as we “go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:7).

In the case of King Solomon, the one thing he asked for was wisdom. And God not only gave him wisdom but power, honor and riches. But how did he get his wisdom? King Solomon revealed the process he had gone through to get this wisdom saying, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). As his father David did, he spent time in the House of the Lord and gained knowledge of God. Therefore, let us spend time in the House of the Lord and be blessed with wisdom, receiving every blessing found in the House of the Lord. Let us keep the Sabbath holy and spend one day a week in the House of the Lord praising and worshipping him. Hallelujah!