The Verse of the Day for June 21, 2014 is taken from Psalm 91:1 (KJV):
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
A number of years ago I recall hearing a message “God is Looking for a Dwelling Place,” and I was inspired to write the following poem which uses Psalm 91:1 as its introductory verse.
My Dwelling Transformed
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Despite perilous times embroiled in confusion and strife,
I continue to learn that everything has its own price,
As I pursue the ultimate goal, I offer my life:
A first-born son, presented as a living sacrifice.
With clean hands and a pure heart, I prepare a dwelling place.
To attract You, I must provide a pleasing ambiance:
As your songs of love flow from the depths of my inner space,
A habitation designed and arrayed for your entrance.
To walk by the spirit of life I am driven to pursue.
I dance to my own music, softly playing in my mind,
And strive to understand that You alone make all things new.
As the eyes of the Lord scan this green planet, may they find
My dwelling transformed into a place of simple beauty,
As I offer all that I am and ever hope to be.
After completing the poem, I thought of Yolanda Adams, who offers a version of the traditional hymn sung so often during my childhood and beyond, as she asks, “Is Your All on the Altar?”
Many fellow believers are earnestly seeking to situate themselves to be in position for the next “move of God,” yearning for a fresh visitation from the Lord. While to bask in His glorious presence would bring with it unspeakable joy, the innermost yearning of my heart is to experience an unprecedented visitation that goes on without interruption, a move of God extending indefinitely. Francis Frangipane reiterates this point, “Let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God.” Three years ago while driving about town, I noticed a billboard on a neighborhood church with this message: “2011: Make this a year of transformation.” Even though three years have passed, the exhortation applies to the current year and to every year for that matter. The poem “My Dwelling Transformed” expresses my desire to see times of visitation transformed into times of habitation.
Imagine this scenario—You have a good friend who sometimes comes by to visit. You would like to have that individual come by more often, so you prepare a place for them to stay when they’re in town. In a similar way, the Shunamite woman and her husband prepared a special abode for Elijah, who visited them periodically. You know what your close acquaintance likes and doesn’t like, so you have what he/she likes, so you custom-design and appointed the place to suit your visitor.
It is no different with God. We endeavor to provide the perfect atmosphere, the ideal conditions that will welcome Him so that He shows up often and stays long. In fact, our ultimate desire is to turn a visitation into a habitation, but how is this accomplished?
When God makes visiting a habit, then visitation becomes habitation. God visits so often and enjoys Himself so much that His visits become more and more frequent, and He stays longer and longer until His visits are a habit, and He decides to abide. Our heart’s deepest yearning for intimacy is expressed in this poem:
Times of Visitation
As you once visited Abraham, our father,
and sent angelic hosts to reinforce your pledge,
in these times of barrenness and seeming defeat,
where are the times of visitation set for us?
We offer our heart, a place prepared for you to meet.
As you sojourn, may you find in our lives a place
so prepared for you to come with friendly intent
that on each occasion where you show up
that your ultimate purpose is most apparent.
As you clearly reveal your promise to fulfill
your will, receive our obedience as sacrifice,
and favor shall be our portion as faithful sons.
May you find us yielded vessels, clean and fitted
for the glory of your presence that you might pour
blessings without measure to overflow and flood
our soul, as we commune with you in perfect peace.
May we never squander times of visitation
but shut the door in face of the enemy,
as we open wide the portals of our spirit
and transform our heart into your habitation.
As I concluded these comments, the lyrics from a cherished hymn from childhood days and beyond came to mind:
Abide With Me
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Abide, O Lord, abide with me.
The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge provide a stirring rendition of this hymn which is the musical expression of our heart’s desire: