The passage today is a little deviation from my reading in 2 Corinthians but I just wanted to share a little bit about the opportunity I had today at Hope Community Church in South Everett this morning. Hope Community is a church plan of Canyon Hills Community Church in Bothell, the church at which I am an elder. This morning 2 new lay elders were installed at Hope Community and the elders at Canyon Hills were invited to come be a part of this process. It was such a great moment as it represents a milestone of growth for this new church. I was asked to pray as we commissioned these 2 men (Micah and Clint) as new elders. Below is what the Lord laid on my heart to share through my prayer.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire [seek] in His temple. Psalms 27:4 [AMP]
I know this verse and following verse 5 by heart because they are Bella’s life verses. As I sat there praying about what the Lord would have me pray over these 2 men, this is the verse that came to mind. More importantly the 3 words that jump off the page as it relates to being elders the Lord calls us to be.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 and Titus have a nontrivial number of qualifications called out for elders. Having been an elder for over 2 years now, the most effective elder is one who does not let his pride, position, or own feelings get in the way of what God is doing or wants. So, when I remembered this verse it just called out so well how to be this conduit of God’s will and purposes.
An elder must desire to DWELL in the house of the Lord forever. That this body is not his home, our heavenly hope in an eternity with Jesus is our home. We must dwell here on earth by living a life that is focused on our faith.
An elder must GAZE upon the face of God and Jesus as a representation of Who they should strive to be like. In some versions it says ‘gaze upon the beauty of the Lord’ as being this thing that a person desires from the Lord. It implies that when we look at Jesus or God, we see beauty and cannot take our eyes from it. Also, when we gaze at beauty, we are able to see that beauty in our minds when we look away; we can remember and stay true to that definition of beauty.
An elder must SEEK God in His temple. I interpret this for us here on earth to be a diligent search to understand God’s character, personhood, and heart desires for us through His Word and prayer. When a person is seeking, the hunt is not over until the object has been found so this implies a fervent search with purpose and intent.
So, all of these put together show that an elder is right where God can use him when he is DWELLING in the presence of God, GAZING on the TRUTH of Who God is, and SEEKING God’s word for His desires and will to be done through that elder.