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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

There are moments in our lives when ultimate matters become remarkably clear. Like far-sighted eyes that suddenly receive corrective lenses, our ability to make sense of the priorities of life crystalizes, and we recognize the nuances of existence. We see the purposes for which we live and the relationship for which we were created. The Psalmist enjoyed this type of detailed clarity on the occasion of the writing of Psalm 84:

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 to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

In that inspired moment, the Psalmist determined that his life's priority, regardless of the allurements surrounding him, was existence lived in the atmosphere of God's presence. He would be willing to forgo fleeting pleasures surrounding him in order to experience the glorious, fulfilling reality  of being in the presence of God—even desiring the somewhat 'removed' position of simply being a door-keeper on the outskirts of God's company! All too often, we as Christians forget the utter glory and joy that is promised us as a gift of the Gospel. Through the work of Jesus, we have the ability to enter the presence of God and take real tastes of that joy even now.

In these days of fasting, consecration, and prayer, we must realize the opportunity before us. We are not pursuing the Lord in this manner in order to be worthy of access to the presence of God. Rather, the work of our King Jesus in the Cross and Resurrection has made access to the presence of God available to us. In light of so great a salvation, we ought to position ourselves—eagerly, expectantly, passionately—to enjoy the access to the presence of God that was purchased at so great a cost for us.

Our lack of movement in this direction simply betrays blurry eyesight as to what life is about. Allow me to thus encourage us this day. Seek the Lord. Sell all to purchase the Pearl of great price. Sell what you have to gain the field in which Treasure is buried.

Perhaps it has been a long time since you have tasted the worth of this pursuit. A yearning often begins with a whisper. A whisper of remembering. A whisper of a fleeting joy. A whisper of a promise, faintly heard, sparking desire and expectation and the treasure of hope. Respond to the whisper of the Spirit today. Pursue the Lord. Seek Him in prayer. Prioritize His presence, just as the Psalmist did, so that it will displace your comfort in physical nourishment. What is promised to us, because of Jesus' gracious work, goes far beyond the role of serving as a doorkeeper in His house. Child of God, pursue your Father this day. Being with Him is better than anything else.

Jim Black
Ministry Director at Columbia