Text: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.”
Good morning, Christian of one vital desire! When all is said and done in the lives that thee and me now live as Christians, I trust that our lasting testimony in this world will be that we were sinners redeemed by Christ’s Blood, and given one vital overwhelming desire - to dwell in God’s House with Him forever. Amen, so be it, Lord God. Amen.
“Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
Dictionary Definition - Desire: (verb transitive) to long for; to wish for; to ask for; to regret the loss of. (verb intransitive) to be in a state of desire. (noun) an earnest longing or wish; a prayer or request; the object desired; lust. (The Chambers Dictionary, page 438)
Our human desires in the above definition sense can vary by great degree from the genuine and laudable; to the most greedy and gross. Honesty is the best policy.
However, the ‘desire’ that the regenerate Christian should have is the one ‘vital desire’ featured in the title of this Bible Lesson; for without it, we are most definitely lost.
The one true and ‘vital desire’ is not one that the natural man/woman can just conjure up from within the unregenerate emotions, thoughts, or imagination. This ‘one vital desire’ is one that can only be imparted by God the Holy Spirit as He ‘quickens’ the dead spirit of natural man/woman in His Divine act of Spiritual regeneration.
“And He (the Lord) said unto me (the prophet Ezekiel), Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord, Thou knowest. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
“And you (natural sinners) hath He quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1;5-6) Hallelujah! We live!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
God, the Holy Spirit’s first ministry to us as Spiritually dead sinners, is to ‘quicken’ us Spiritually. He ‘…reproves‘…us ‘of sin (our sin)’, ‘…and of righteousness (Christ’s righteousness)’, ‘…and of judgement (sinners without Christ’s righteousness will be judged and condemned and sent to Hell)’. (John 16:8) Just like the ‘dry bones’.
Basically speaking, the Spirit of God gives us life, by convincing us of our sin before God’s Holiness; by God’s grace imparts His gift of faith in Christ and His Sacrifice at the Cross for us; and ‘baptises’ us into the Body of Christ, the true Spiritual Church.
This is true Spiritual regeneration - giving Spiritual life to natural people who are sinners and as such, Spiritually dead in sin. God, by His Sovereign grace, give us that ‘one vital desire’ - to be born again into His Son Jesus Christ, and to ‘…dwell in the House of the Lord…’ forever. He calls us by the effectual call of the Gospel, and we come and are saved. See how it all falls into place? Praise God for faith!
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into ONE BODY (the true Spiritual Church), whether we be Jews or Gentiles whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the Body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:13-14)
This is the ONLY Baptism in the Spirit recognised in Scriptures - being born again. Thenceforth we are to seek to be ‘filled with the Spirit’ for service to God.
Verse 4. “One thing. The man of one Book is eminent, the man of one pursuit is successful. Let all our affections be bound up in one affection and that affection set upon Heavenly things. (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 136)
“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (every day needs) shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are Above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things Above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead (to the things of the world), and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him inn glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4)
Verse 4. “One thing. I understand thus much in a generality, which is clear that he (the Psalmist) means a communion and fellowship with God, which is that one thing, which if a Christian had, he/she needs desire no more.” (John Stoughton 1639)
So, let us ask ourselves afresh, beloved Christian friend, ‘Is this ‘one thing’ the constant desire of our too often fallible hearts? It is very healthy to examine ourselves often to ascertain whether or not we are continuing in the ‘…faith once delivered unto the saints’.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves...” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Verse 4. “One thing have I desired. What we cannot at once attain, it is well to desire. God judges us very much by the desires of our hearts. He who rides a lame horse is not blamed by his master for want of speed, if he makes all the haste he can, and would make more if he could; God takes the will for the deed with His children.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 136)
We Christians are judged by God according to our sincere motives - not by what we actually achieve! The Lord rewards us as if we have achieved the sincere motivation of our redeemed hearts. Aim for the very top of that mountain!
Verse 4. “…To behold the beauty of the Lord. We must not enter the assemblies of the saints in order to see and be seen or merely to hear the minister. Better far - behold it by faith! What a sight will that be when every faithful follower of Jesus shall behold ‘the King in His beauty!’ Oh, for that infinitely blessed vision!” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 136)
I wonder is this the ‘one thing’ you and I desire most when we open our eyes each morning after sleep? I wonder, have we 21st Century Christians lost too much of our desire to see Jesus in His glory and splendour? Are we too comfortable here below? Or can we say with the Psalmist - “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2)
Verse 4. “To behold the beauty of the Lord. Tell me, if there be, if there can be, any greater request to be made. This ‘one thing’ that David desires is in effect that Unum necessarium (‘…one thing is needful…’) that Christ speaks of in the Gospel; which Mary makes choice of there, as David doth here.” (Luke 10:38-42) (Sir Richard Baker 1568-1645)
I personally need to revisit my own heart, to make sure to get back to that ‘one thing’ desire of close fellowship with my Master and Lord - Jesus Christ. Would you care to join me in this venture of faith, beloved Christian reader? Let us draw nigh to Jesus.
Thought: “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” We have His Word on this vital matter; let us therefore believe it, and consecrate our souls afresh to Christ’s service. Let this be our ‘one vital desire’ today.