How lovely is your dwelling place. (Ps. 84:1)

THINK FOR A MOMENT about the last time you can remember feeling God’s presence. Where were you when this happened? What were you doing? Who were you with? Why do you think God’s presence was so real to you at that moment? When we think of being in God’s presence, we might not often think of the place we’re in as being significant. We know that God is present everywhere and that we can experience Him anywhere. All of that is true enough, but the psalmists were aware of God’s presence as being connected to a specific place.

In Psalm 84, that place was the Jerusalem temple. The Jewish people understood God to be present at the temple in a unique, extraordinary way. There, God lived among humanity. His glory was to be found in the temple. In this psalm, the psalmist expressed a longing to stand in the courts of the temple, knowing he would experience God’s presence there and that God blesses those who are in His presence. One day at the temple, he said, would satisfy him more than spending a thousand days anywhere else.

Today, we understand God’s presence to be tied not to a particular place but to a particular group of people—those in whom God’s Spirit lives and moves. God lives in His people and we find His presence in community with believers.Kevin Scott

Soak in God’s presence among His people today.

Kevin Scott is a member of the pastoral staff at Stephen Ministries, where he serves as a writer, teacher, and leader and is the author of ReCreatable.