Flourishing in the House of the Lord

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.   
 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing to show    
 that the LORD is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalms 92:12-15

Are you flourishing where you are in life? If not, then the next question is when are you going to get planted in The House of God? Because if you are not planted in the House of God Ė you are not flourishing. To flourish means to bud, sprout, send out shoots, blossom. One of the most encourage phrase that I have heard in awhile is, Blossom where you are planted. Every child of God wants to flourish, but so many Christians are not planted in Godís House. Many drift from house to house. Some canít even find their way to Godís House, and still others find themselves on the semi-inactive or even the inactive list in Godís House.

First of all, what is the house of God? In the Old Testament it was the temple, for David said in Psalms 84:10, I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. In I Kings 8:17 the Bible tells us, It was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. We know that God would not allow him to do that. God tasked Solomon with that job, and hence we have become familiar with the term ďSolomonís Temple

The Bible clearly states that for man, building God a house is just not possible.

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? Isaiah 66:1

Even though it is impossible for man; it is possible with God. He has had a plan all along for His house. God wants to dwell in us and among us!

Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God's temple (His sanctuary), and that God's Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, [a]collectively as a church and also individually]? I Corinthians 3:16 AMP

Again we see the maker of our house is God, for God is a spirit. You just canít put a spirit in a man-made house. Man couldnít make this house - God had to do it Himself in the spirit.

For we know that if our earthly house, this tabernacle, were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1

You canít see it right now, but if your present earth suit were dissolved WE HAVE a building, an eternal house not made with hands. According to the scripture we just read, I Corinthians 3:16, we are the House of God individually and collectively. We hear so much about God dwelling in us individually that many saints do just that Ė try to flourish with God individually as a lone-ranger. Ephesians 2:22 says, we are BUILT TOGETHER for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Matt. 18:20 says, Where two or three of are gathered together in My Name, THERE (and only there) am I in the midst of THEM. (Now, the parenthetical comments are mine of course.) Where? The place where saints come together in unity. You canít make this scripture work alone no matter how much you pray, and you canít make this scripture work in a room full of strife either.

Now get this point here! This is the major shift from Old Testament House of God to New Testament House of God. In the OT, the House of God was a fixed beautiful building that you had to go to every Sabbath day. In the NT, Godís House is no longer the building Ė it is us! If you want to get Jesus in the midst and God to come habitat, YOU MUST met the minimum requirement, two or three! Well, if it is not tied to a building then canít I just have church by myself in the living room? You canít have church by yourself! If you tried, you would be doing what the Bible commands us not to do, forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is. The NIV version of Heb. 10:25 says it this way, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. What is your habit for Sunday morning?

The Psalmist knew if he was going to flourish it would be in the courts of his God. He knew that His court was along the path way to His presence, entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! When I think of flourishing, I think how Obededom faired with the Ark of the Covenant, Godís glory and presence, in his house. 2 Samuel 6:12 tells us, God blessed the house of Obededom and ALL THAT PERTAINETH TO HIM because of the ark of God! Obededomís house was not the normal location of the Ark of the Covenant. The normal pathway to the Ark would be to enter His gates and then proceed to His courts, and then only the priest could get near the Ark in the Holy of Holies. But the Psalmist says just let me be a doorkeeper, let me work in the courts of our God, and I know I will flourish because in His House is His presence!

Many saints today have apparently lost that revelation of working for God, in His House; that is where the flourishing blessing is. David knew how to flourish, for he said in Psalms 84:2, My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD. He didnít stop there, for in the tenth verse he said, For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. Even if he was no longer the king and was assigned to keep the door in the House of God, he had rather do that than to live in the lap of luxury with the wicked, for the most important thing in all of King Davidís life was Godís presence. The truth of the matter is, now matter what the role you find yourself in, you want be happy unless you are doing what God called you to do in His House. The only way for David to be satisfied was to be in Godís presence doing what God called him to do, for he said in Psalms 51:11, Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

What was Davidís answer for going to Godís House? What was his habit? Did he go when he felt like it, or when he wasnít to busy with other things? Did he go to sit on the pew and be feed? Did he come dragging in late with a bad attitude to boot? No, no. Let me remind you of what he said in Psalms 100:

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

He came before His presence and we know that was at the Temple. He did not come to just sit and soak; he came to serve the Lord and flourish! We know he didnít drag in late with a bad attitude, for he came in with singing and gladly served God!We already know that David was a whole-hearted kind-of-a-guy!

Oh, there is more!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Not did he come to serve, he also came to church with something. He came in the door with thanksgiving, and by the time he made it to His courts, he had a praise! He was thankful to His God for being there, and he blessed His name. We know David also to be a give and not a taker, for he said in II Samuel 24:24, Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.

Letís take lessons from David on coming to Godís House! Letís get in the habit of entering Godís House faithfully. Letís not only come, but come to serve God gladly with our whole heart! Letís not only come to serve, but come with a thanksgiving, a praise, and a special offering that is worth something to you. Remember if it cost you something and is worth something to you, then it is worth something to God. Letís return to faithful and meaningful worship in Godís House. God wants us all to flourish and to blossom where we are planted, but in order for us to do that we must be firmly planted in Godís House and serving God regularly in His Courts.