For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to 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 them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalms 84:10-12
Like we saw last week, the Sabbath day is a day of rest. It is one day out of seven days that you chose to take all attention from everything else and focus on the Creator and the Master of your soul. Nothing pleases God more than when you make Him see that you value Him more than anything else in the world. All you do on your chosen day of rest must be to God. Read the Bible, praise God, spend time praying, involve yourself in evangelism and other spiritual exercises. That day is not for your own pleasure, but for God’s pleasure. It is, thus, not a day for self pleasure like watching home videos, attending village/town meetings, or visiting friends and relatives. It is a holy day of rest unto the Lord.
In the scripture above, King David wrote that a day spent in intimacy with God is better than a thousand days spent outside his presence. He wrote that he valued intimacy with God much more than the pleasures of life. No wonder God loved David so much and called him a man after his heart. No wonder God overlooked most of his shortcomings and made a covenant with him to keep kingship and royalty in his household forever.
Moses is another example of a man who kept a date with the Lord. He was known for consistent fellowship with God which sometimes lasted for several days. At his return from fellowship with God most times, the glory of the Lord was so much reflected in His face that the people had to cover his face for a while with a veil. No wonder Moses lived to a ripe old age and remained strong all the days of his life. At a hundred and twenty years (120 years), his eyes were not dim. If not for his uncontrolled anger that made him sin against God, he would have continued to lead the children of Israel even into the Promised Land.
Moses was a great leader and represented God so well among the Israelites, yet he only practiced closet intimacy, not moment by moment intimacy. We in the New Testament are more privileged to have the presence of God resident with us; but this was not the case in the Old Testament God’s presence came down occasionally in the Old Testament days and so those that wanted to keep a date with Him could only do so occasionally. But in the New Testament, God is always present with us. We can activate His presence with our mind at any time and in any place and have sweet fellowship with Him all day long; even in the midst of our busy schedule.
There are two kinds of courts:
1. The Outer courts-where people dwell (this is likened to moment by moment intimacy)
2. The Inner courts (Holy of holies)- a consciousness of you alone with God (this is likened to closet intimacy).
One day when you enter the court of the Lord several times by way of creating consciousness of the presence of God with your mind and dwelling in loving intimacy with Him is referred to as COURTS
David wrote that one single day of quality intimacy with God, is of much more value than one thousand days spent outside His presence. One thousand days will make approximately three years. This means that one quality day with God will give you what you will struggle to get in three years. If you begin to practice weekly Sabbath, taking one day off your schedule each week, when you lock up totally switch off your phones, and avoid relating with anyone, but give all your attention to God on that day, one day of this can fetch you what you will struggle to get in three years.
From the scripture above, we see eight (8) beautiful of keeping a date with the Lord.
1. The Lord God will be a sun to you- Science has revealed that the sun is very vital to survival on earth. Apart from giving light to the earth, it is the major source of energy onearth. Plants and animals will not survive without the Sun. Sun gives direction. When the Lord God is a sun to you, He will brighten your life and give you direction so that you do not go in the wrong direction. He will give you revelations so that you are never taken unawares. You will operate in light and not in darkness. Things in the dark will be made bare to you. He will energise you to successfully carry out your daily assignments.
2. The Lord God will be a Shield to you- The experience of God you will find in the tabernacle experience will be a shield to you. Shield was used by Roman soldiers for close combat. It offered them protection from the swords, spears and arrows of their assailants. When you consistently keep a date with the Lord, no matter how close the enemy gets, the Lord offers you protection. The enemy may appear close by observation, but they will be distant by manifestation by the virtue of the experience of God you encountered in the tabernacle exercise.
3. You will enjoy God’s Grace- Grace is God’s riches made available at Christ’s expense. Grace takes you from least to best. It gives you access to provision without personal effort. Grace made Apostle Paul, who ought to be least among the Apostles, become the most celebrated among them. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 1 5:9-10- For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God! am what lam: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but! laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
4. God will bestow His Glory on you- Glory is from the Greek word Doxa which means- all that God is and all that God has. When the glory of God is bestowed upon you, you will have access to all of the riches of God. Glory means divine impartation for dominion. Glory means that you are bestowed with the power of God, the prosperity of God and the character of God so that you can represent Him properly in power, in prosperity and in character. When the glory of God was upon Moses, the children of Israel could not behold his face; they had to cover his face with a veil. When the glory came upon Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, the disciples wished that the awesome experience will never cease.
5. He will not withhold any good thing from you- Those that keep a date with the Lord succeed by favour, not by labour. God will always seek to make you happy and so He looks ahead of you and when He sights a need, He makes provision even when you are yet to make a request.
6. You will walk uprightly-Walking closely with Him is the definition of walking uprightly When you dwell consistently in His presence, you will not struggle with sin. Sin is on possible when you lose consciousness of the fact that God is present with you. The more you see Him with you the less attractive, sin is to you
7. He becomes God of hosts to you- Hosts is innumerable angels. The angels of God are in quantum (hosts). The angels were created to carry out God’s assignments. When you keep a date with the Lord constantly, He will release a host of angels to you. This means that if you are a person that keeps the sabbath, you will always have angels around you. The angels of God will be responsible for your security, and will quickly respond anytime you give them a task to perform.
8. You are blessed- Blessed means to be empowered for success, fulfilment and establishment. When you are blessed, your success is not in the labour outside, but in the favour that comes from the throne room of God. The things others spend years to get are freely given to you even when you do not ask You become so blessed that you become a blessing to those around you.
Pastor Samuel O. Osaghae