Speaker：Ps Dick Eastman
What a joy it is to once again be here at 611, especially on this very important occasion as we celebrate together 18 years of what God has done through this church. I know God is going to do some very special things. I was so very encouraged while you’re worshiping, how much you exalted Jesus, because our desire in ministry is to make Jesus known in every single home on earth. Already my wife and I celebrated last September our 30th anniversary leading the ministry. During those years almost 2 billion homes were visited and given the good news of Jesus. That’s all about Jesus.
The Passionate Pursuit of the Person of Christ
This verse (Psalm 27:4) was from King David, one of the great worshipers of all time. King David was a full-time worshiper who had a part-time job as a king.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” (KJV)
“Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else. I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.” (THE PASSION TRANSLATION)
“I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.” (THE MESSAGE BIBLE)
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (NIV)
Five Pursuits of the Person of Christ
Five key things for pursuing a knowledge of Jesus and knowing Him intimately. These become goals that we have to have a kingdom church. Focusing on kingdom worship, and kingdom activity, to see the kingdom of Christ to all over the world. “Kingdom” means the place of rulership, where the Lord Jesus rules over all the activities.
We are made to know God. We are called to be a full-time worshiper. There’s going to be a day when the preaching of the gospel ends, but worship will never end.
First Pursuit: Desire
“One thing have I desired”
This is Old Testament language of loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. When we have one thing, there are no other things. He wants us to be a people that desire “one thing”.
“Desire” Defined: “To long for; crave; covet.”
Crave: “to long for eagerly; to desire strongly.”
The world is passionate about so many things, but Jesus is calling us to supreme passion. Sometimes we are trying to shut down our desires, but Jesus actually wants us to redirect our desires. We are beings that crave, but Jesus wants our craving to be for Him. Once we have tasted Him, once we have seen Him, our only response is “I want more”.
Psalm 73:25: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides you.” (NKJV)
We desire Jesus.
Isaiah 26:8-9: “O Lord, we have waited for You; The desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek you early…” (Amplified)
Desire for the Lord in the night and early in the morning, it’s the time when our body naturally is just going to rest. But there’s someone we want more than sleep. We want Jesus. We’re hungry for Him.
2 Chronicles 17:3-4: “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals, but sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel.” (AMPC)
In a city known for its wealth, the love of money, the love of other things, there’s a people who are different. They have a chief desire above all desires. It’s the desire for God Himself.
Second Pursuit: Seek
“That will I seek after…”
When someone says “I desire something”, their next step is to seek after that. This is where becomes challenging. I’ll set aside time to be in Your Word. I put action to my desire. God awakens hunger in our hearts for more of Him. We say “yes” to Him. He will help us to seek Him. He will give us grace to seek Him with all of our heart.
“Seek” Defined: “To go in search of; look for; to try to find or discover; pursue.”
Pursue: “to search after; follow close upon; persevere.”
This is not a one-time invitation. This is a lifetime invitation, to have a lifestyle of seeking after God. Ministry isn’t everything. Jesus is. There is even a danger for those of us who are in ministry to pursue ministry. But there’s something better than ministry. It’s the Person that we do ministry for. The Lord is inviting us to pursue Him and to persevere.
1 Chronicles 16:10-11: “Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” (NKJV)
If you’re lacking joy in your life, I want to tell you where to go: into the presence of the Lord, to seek His face. There is greater pleasure knowing Him than the pleasure this world has to offer.
Jeremiah 29:12-13: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)
God once spoke to Dick Eastman, “I’ve just given you the most important word when it comes to prayer. It’s ‘Me'”. It’s Jesus. I want to see the face of God. He’s a person and He invites us to come and know Him intimately and personally. Jesus loves to give us good gifts, but He wants to give us the greatest gift – His face, His eyes. He will say “I love you. I know you. You’re Mine. You belong to Me. No one can take you from Me.” And for us, just say “I love You”. And His heart is moved.
Psalm 40:16: “But let all who passionately seek you erupt with excitement and joy over what you’ve done! Let all your lovers rejoice continually in the Savior, saying, How great and glorious is our God!” (TPT)
Third Pursuit: Dwell
“That I may dwell”
“Dwell” Defined: “To make one’s home; reside, to live as a resident.”
Once we are in the presence of Jesus, we don’t want to leave. He invites us to make our home in Him and with Him. He promises to make His home in us. There is not a good enough analogy in scripture. Jesus talks about us living in Him and with Him, and Him with us and inside of us. You can’t be closer than this. That’s what God wants for us.
Psalm 91:1-2: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (NKJV)
Psalm 84:1-2: “What a beautiful home, GODof-the-Angel-Armies! I’ve always longed to live in a place like this, always dreamed of a room in your house, where I could sing for joy to God-alive!” (MSG)
He’s gone to prepare a place for you. He’s making you a room in the Father’s house. We don’t have to wait for eternity to dwell with Him. Look at your life, and ask a question: how can I dwell in the house of the Lord on this side of eternity? I want to make priority of my life to live in His presence. You can live in His presence when you’re washing dishes. You can experience the presence of God on the train or the bus by simply turning the eyes of your heart to Him, whispering: “Jesus, I love you. Thank You for Your presence. I want to dwell with You. I want You to dwell with me.”
Psalm 84:4: “What pleasure fills those who live every day in your temple, enjoying you as they worship in your presence!” (TPT)
The invitation to pray is not a burden. The invitation to pray and worship is an invitation to joy. Everyone’s looking for joy. Our whole life is governed by this desire: where do I find happiness? Where do I find joy? Jesus said, “it’s not a secret. Joy is found in My presence. Living with Me. Talking to Me. Singing to Me. Walking with Me in your everyday life.” What would happen if the church in Hong Kong walk on the streets of Hong Kong with the joy of the Lord. We should be the happiest people on the earth, because we know why we are here, we know who made us, we know where we are going. And He loves us.
Fourth Pursuit: Gaze
“To gaze on the beauty…”
“Gaze” Defined: “To look intently and steadily, as in wonder or expectation.”
Behold: “to perceive through sight; to hold in view.”
Psalm 11:7: “But remember this: the Righteous Lord loves what is right and just, and every godly one will come into his presence and gaze upon his face!” (TPT)
Psalm 34:5: “Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shame-face again.” (TPT)
“Cling” related to gaze: “To hold fast by or embracing; to be or stay near.”
Deuteronomy 13:4 “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” (NLT)
Psalm 63:6-8: “I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” (NLT)
There’s a battle for our eyes. We live in a time when everything is flashing and trying to get our attention. Today Jesus is passionately looking at us and He’s saying, “Look at Me. I want your eyes. I want your affection. I want your heart.” That’s the invitation that Jesus gives to each of us today.
I want to return to that picture of my son, clinging to my face, and gazing at my eyes. That is the implication that Jesus gives to each and every one of you today. He doesn’t look at me for very long. Maybe you feel like “I don’t know how to pray long hours”. You can start with one minute. Reach out your hands and grab the face of God. Look at Him in the eyes. Give Him your heart, even for one minute, and let Him love you. And worship Him in return. One minute will turn to two minutes, and two minutes to five minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be spending even longer time in the presence of God. He invites you this morning to know Him more, to love Him more, and to experience His love, to be a people of “one thing”. It’s an invitation that’s filled with joy. This is not duty. This is delight.
There is so much in this one verse, that if all we could give the people of the world, just this one verse, and they did it, it could change the world.
There is one more very key thing, it is while we are in the presence of Jesus, that we learn from Him.
Fifth Pursuit: Inquire
“To inquire in his temple…”
When we are in the presence of Jesus, we can begin to ask Him questions about what’s going on in our lives and things we are doing.
“Inquire” Defined: “To seek information by questioning; to search through or into; to probe.”
To inquire is to “listen” and “learn”!
“Listen” Defined: “To make a conscious effort to hear; to pay close attention.”
That’s why we need this quiet time. That’s why we need to go to the secret place.
“Learn” Defined: “To obtain knowledge by study, experience, or instruction.”
That is what I’ve been doing in recent days, spending much time just getting into the Word where talks about Jesus the Messiah, because I wanted to sit at His feet, to learn.
Psalm 34:8, 11: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him… Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” (ESV)
Never forget that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. When we’re gazing at the face of Jesus, when we are listening to Him, and then we’re learning, the key thing we learn is the reverence and respect of God, we call that the fear of the Lord. It doesn’t mean to be frightened of God, that God is going to do something evil to you.
Psalm 81:13-14: “Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.” (ESV)
When we listen to Him, we learn to walk in His ways.
Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (ESV)
We are a busy people. We’re busy doing the work of God. But how much time do we spend with the Lord? Scottish minister Robert Murray McCheyne said, “No amount of activity in the King’s service will make up for neglect of the King Himself.” The most important thing I would do today is not just this moment standing in this pulpit. The most important thing I can do today is to be in the presence of Jesus. Because that makes everything else come alive. So it’s all about Jesus. Whatever we do, the verse says “Come to me, enter into my rest”. I was imagining Christians having a little sign on the door going into their home that just says “come to me”. And that when you go into your home, your chief desire is just to see Jesus in everything you do.
A 17th-century monk Brother Lawrence talked about the practice of the presence of God. He said, “That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshipers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.” Even this day, when we go from this place, during this day, I would begin to think, who is Jesus? How well do I know Him? You might take some time even to write down some of the things you see Jesus, who He is, what He has done in your life, to just turn to Him often, even with a whisper, and say, “Jesus, help me to know You. Help me to see You in all my activities, because Jesus, I want to see You. I want to know You. I want to hear You. I want to fear You. I want to reverent You. I want to walk with You in everything I do, that I would just shine with Your glory. And that I would become a lighthouse to those I come into contact with.”
Respond to God
We just close our eyes all over this place. I believe that the Lord has given us a great invitation today. And I know that the Holy Spirit is working in every heart in this place. I just want to take time to respond to the Lord. The invitation that’s been given is to be a people of “one thing”, to be a people that prioritize the Person of Jesus, and the presence of Jesus. I also want you to be really honest with the Lord in this time. If we are not honest in prayer, I’m not sure if it’s worth praying. I feel like there’s even someone in this room who just say “if I’m honest, my desire for Jesus feels weak”. I feel like if we can even start there and just be honest to say, “Lord, I want to love you wholeheartedly, but I’m distracted.” I think God would so honor that cry. And I believe He comes to you today not with shame or condemnation, but He comes to you as the Helper. And the Lord says over you today, “I will help you love Me. If you will ask Me, I will help you to love Me. I will give you desire for Me.”
Today at this moment we just push everything aside, and we just reach out to touch the hand of Your garment.■ (Excerpted from Pastor Dick Eastman teaching in Every Home for Christ on 9th May 2019)