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August 24, 1995

Deciding Where to Live

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Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 0 LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. PSALM 84:10-12
Scripture clearly teaches that we have to choose whether we’re going to serve God or Satan, whether we’re going to obey God’s law or go our own direction, whether we’re going to submit to Christ’s authority or remain in the captain’s seat ourselves.
The choice presented in Psalm 84:10-12 is similar: We have to choose where we’re going to live—in the house of our God or in the tents of the wicked. To say that it is better to spend a day in God’s courts than a thousand elsewhere does not mean that working in a church should be our ultimate career goal. The issue here is not where we literally spend our days. The issue is whether we’d rather live in God’s presence or hang around with evil people.
In God’s presence we find peace, a clean conscience, clear direction, a refuge, forgiveness, warmth, acceptance, help, advice, joy, and numerous other positive benefits. In the tents of the wicked, we might find short-term pleasure and gain, but we also find confusion, guilt, insecurity, unforgiveness, and strife.
The correct choice seems obvious. Why would we ever want to forgo all the blessings that are found in God’s presence in exchange for all the pain that exists in the tents of the wicked? Again, the answer is simple. We leave God’s presence because we’re still attracted to the things the world has to offer—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16 KJV). We find security with God, but we also love being autonomous. We love living with God, but we’re pulled to live elsewhere. No matter how long we’ve known Jesus, we can all relate to the words the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:19: “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”
Where are you living? Have you strayed from the courts of God? If so, now is a good time to come home.

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