by George Slover
"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly" (Psalms 84:10-11).
It would be difficult to find a more intense expression of devotion in all of the Old Testament than the one above. To prefer a day in God’s court over a thousand elsewhere would be a strange desire to many. Few would sympathize with such a fanatic. Even good people might relegate such an expression to a madman! The language here is an expression of one who greatly delights in God.
What is the source of his joyful devotion? First, there is the joy of praise. “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1). Second, there is the joy of communion with God. "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalms 23:1). Third, there is the joy of fellowship with God’s people -- the common prayer, the harmonious praise, and the sharing of a common salvation. Fourth, there is the joy of service -- the privilege of opening the door of God’s kingdom as a refuge to the lost, and a place of consolation for believers.
Unfortunately, there are others who would deem such service as “weariness” (Malachi 1:13). To them a sense of duty exceeds a sense of privilege, and obedience means constraint rather than joy! Joyless service is neither profitable nor acceptable. What a disappointment to the Father when his children take no delight in drawing near to him!
Here is a challenge for you the reader. Which truly brings delight? Which genuinely has your heart’s devotion? Is it God’s service or the world?