August 23, 2023
"How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion!" (Psalm 84:5)
There is nothing more valuable than God’s presence. Nothing. Everything needed is there. Everything good is found there. In Psalm 84, the Psalmist reminds us of the incredible value of God's presence. To the Hebrew man, this is always symbolized by heading up (because Jerusalem is elevated) to Zion, the city of God. And in Zion (Jerusalem) was the temple—the ultimate place of God's presence for the Hebrew believer.
Now, as New Testament believers, this is a picture of simply being in the presence of God, which all of us can experience anytime. Of turning to the Christ who lives within us, becoming consciously aware of His presence, and letting our lives flow from the inside out. The man who lives in God’s presence has an unending supply of all that matters, both for himself and others.
HIS STRENGTH IS GOD
We have human strength, but it pales in comparison to the strength of God. Strength that is inexhaustible and unfailing. Strength that can withstand anything. “How blessed is the man whose strength is in YOU,” the Psalmist sang. His power is not in a supply but a Person who lives within.
This man continually and increasingly sees his own inabilities and turns to Christ. And Christ loves to give His strength to the dependent. “Be strong in the Lord, and the strength of His might,” Paul said and lived (Ephesians 6:10). And then proclaimed (as he faced and endured many trials), “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The man or woman who lives with the conscious awareness of God’s presence is never alone and always has all they need, for everything flows from the presence of the Lord.
A HEART THAT LEADS TO GOD
"How blessed is the man," the Psalmist says, "in whose heart are the highways to Zion!" In other words, this man has found the path to God’s presence. He knows how to get there and to live there. He naturally finds himself turning there. He is so enamored by the Lord's presence and so uninterested in every other place, that his heart is forever turning to Christ.
Such a man is an undeniable resource to others. For when others are around him, they see and feel these highways to God. They find that this man knows the pathways and can take them there. There is no ability that is better, no greater service that can be rendered. No more valuable gift that one man can bring to another than to have a heart full of God’s pathways.
What highways are most often in your heart? When you let your mind wander, does it wander to Him? Is your mind inclined toward God's presence? Do you know how to leave this earthly place and deliberately set your mind on Christ and experience Him? Do you know how to enter into the closet and shut the door with Him?
A man whose heart contains such highways regularly lives there. His heart is always ascending to Zion. Therefore, he has seen and experienced the beauty of the Lord and constantly longs for more of God. He has found a new place to live and God’s way to get there. He genuinely feels what the Psalmist expresses:
"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:9-10)
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