Now that you’ve got it in mind, consider what David says in Psalm 27:4: “I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking [Him] in His temple” (HCSB).
I had two striking thoughts when I read this verse in light of… the “one thing” I desire. First, I was a little ashamed. David’s “one thing” boiled down to simply being with God. It made me question, what is most important to me? If my “one thing” isn’t to grow nearer to God and to desire his presence, perhaps I need a heart-check. Perhaps I need to pray that God would grow within me a soul-panting passion for him.
Second, I was struck with the fact that – no matter how noble David’s prayer was – he didn’t receive it. His desire was to build God’s temple and to dwell there.
So, this man after God’s own heart didn’t receive the “one thing” his heart desired.
Talk about crushing, right?
I was curious how he reacted when he found out he wouldn’t receive his heart’s desire. If you’re curious, too, it’s written in 2 Samuel 7. It’s absolutely worth the read, but I’ll sum it up. David received a word from the Lord concerning his desire – including the reason that he couldn’t build the temple – and he was overwhelmed with thanksgiving.
I’m sure there was a part of him that was disappointed. He had to be. But God’s higher plan surpassed his greatest desire.
Check this out in 2 Samuel 7:11: “The Lord declares to you: The Lord Himself will make a house for you.” We see in 2 Samuel 7:1 that David was already secure in his new palace by this time so God wasn’t referring to a physical house. He was referring to David’s eternal house!
In essence, David had told God, “I want to build a house for you.” And God replied, “No, I want to build a house for YOU.”
God took David’s noble desire for an earthly temple and showed David his eternal plan. In the Old Testament times, eternity wasn’t something that was really considered like it is today. So this revelation was HUGE!
What does that mean for our desires? First, let’s follow David’s example and take them to God! But then, as we are seeking what we desire, let’s watch how God may in fact transform our desires to something we’ve never even imagined.