The View From The Sanctuary
A daily devotion for October 4th
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus,"
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it was oppressive to me
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 As a dream when one awakes,
so when you arise, O Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
. . . till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny(Psalm 73:17).
When the psalmist speaks of going into the sanctuary, he means he came before the presence of God. He actually went into the temple where God had made provision to meet with His people. When he did that, he began to see things from God's point of view. In the temple he began to shift from natural thinking to spiritual thinking. The problem was that he had been thinking like a natural man. Thus, he had gotten himself worked up into a terrible state of frenzy. But wonderfully, in the sanctuary, he begins to understand as he thinks from God's point of view. That is the great thing about the Scriptures. It means that when you come to church or read the Scriptures, you are not coming merely to find something to soothe you a bit; you are coming that you might have your eyes opened, that you might see things as they really are and thus begin to understand life. There are many people who are content to use the Bible only to soothe their feelings when they get upset, but the Bible is not provided for that. It is provided that we might understand what is happening to us in every aspect of life, and that is what happened to the psalmist. He came into the sanctuary, and there he began to think from God's point of view.
The trouble with so-called
natural thinking is that it is always centered on self, and natural-thinking people react to their circumstances according to their feelings, moods, and emotions. When that happens to you, your range of vision is narrowed down to only those factors that are troubling you. You cannot think beyond them. When your feelings govern you, they always limit you. That is what was troubling this man.
He begins to see it when he comes into the sanctuary, into the presence of God, because there he begins thinking spiritually. Spiritual thinking is centered on God, and the mind is in control and not the feelings. Then you are not being governed by emotions but by thoughts relating to facts. Thus, your vision is broadened, and you can see other things besides the one thing that is disturbing your emotions. It is made possible only when you
enter the sanctuary.
How do we enter the sanctuary today? According to the New Testament, we ourselves are the sanctuary. God lives in us. To draw near to Him is to enter the sanctuary. We enter the sanctuary in various ways: by exposing ourselves to His truth in the Scripture; or by facing truth we have forgotten as we fellowship with other Christians; or by directly praying to God and changing our thinking from natural to spiritual.
Father, teach me this same truth. Keep me from being envious of the ungodly, but help me to enter Your sanctuary and have my mind renewed by Your truth.
Life Application: Is our perspective on life being formed and limited by self-centered feelings or emotions? What are three ways to re-calibrate our vision?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.