God’s people have always been tempted to judge their lives of faith in God, who is invisible (Col 1:15) by what is seen in this world. Ultimately, this is the test of faith, fixing our eyes on what is unseen rather than on what is seen. What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor 4:18). When we bring our hearts and minds into God’s presence, we are rescued from judging the value of what is eternal with what is temporary.
When we worship God in spirit and in truth we find the perspective needed to live our lives in faithfulness to our God (John 4:23-24). Asaph was a chief leader in the worship of God for David (1 Chron 16:2-5), and he describes beautifully this struggle to live by faith and the solution of God’s sanctuary of truth.
1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How can God know?
Does the Most High have knowledge?”
12 This is what the wicked are like— always carefree, they increase in wealth.
13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
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..
May God bless our efforts to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and may we devote ourselves to worshipping Him so that we will live lives of faithfulness to Him.