Stay in the Sanctuary

My word for the year 2022 is perspective.  This isn’t something that I just draw out of a hat.  I’ve heard some say that their word for the year chooses them.  I’ve said that myself, but in truth, God gives me my word.  I usually know what it is by October or November of the previous year.  It always comes about through my study and work on the word for that year.  God is pealing back the layers and has something else for me to learn.  Some things take a year, some take longer.  For the past three years, I had three different words: hope, abound and believing. All are from Romans 15:13.  Sometimes I am a slow learner!  

As the last two years have unfolded, there have been unprecedented things going on in our world.  Living abroad, I may have a little different perspective on those things than others in my peer group.  There are times when my perspective becomes blurred.  I don’t know what to think.  There are times when that blurred perspective can turn into discouragement and a sense of hopelessness.  It was during one of those times that I realized I needed to gain God’s perspective on what is going on in the world around me.  

I searched on a Bible website for the word perspective in the King James Version.  The response I received was, “Sorry, we didn’t find any results for your search.”  As I dug a little deeper, I found that while the word might not be there, the idea is.  I’ve also realized that there is only one way to gain God’s perspective on the world around us.  That is to stay in the sanctuary.

What exactly does it mean to stay in the sanctuary?  

In Psalm 63:1-2, the psalmist says, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” The ESV says, “my flesh faints for you…”  The psalmist needed His God!  According to my study Bible, this was written by David while he was in the wilderness of Judea.  He was either running from Saul or possibly Absalom.  He was desperate in His need for God!

Webster defines sanctuary as a consecrated place, the room in which general worship services are held.  A secondary meaning is a place or refuge and protection.  Strong’s defines sanctuary as a sacred place that is set apart.  So a sanctuary is a consecrated place that is set apart and provides a refuge and protection.  Spurgeon* said that the sanctuary was “where God met [David] and manifested Himself to him.”  

Where is the sanctuary for us today?  

It could be a place.  Maybe it’s in a comfy chair.  Maybe it’s in a quiet room.  When I had small children at home, I often asked my husband for an afternoon to go to the library.  There I would find a table in a far corner away from everyone.  The place is not as important as what you do while you are there.  Our true sanctuary is God’s Word.  It is here in His Word that we can hear His voice as He speaks to us.  It is here that we gain His perspective on world events, what is happening in our private world and even what is going on in our own heart.  It is here that we have a refuge and find protection.

I want to write more about this in the future. For now, I encourage you to stay in the sanctuary of God’s Word.  Instead of sinking in discouragement and hopelessness from yet more bad news, run to Him in the sanctuary and be encouraged as you begin to look at life through the lens of His Word!  As Spurgeon said, “There is no help like that which is of God’s sending, and no deliverance like that which comes out of His sanctuary.”

*****

*Spurgeon’s Treasury of David has proved to be invaluable as I study through some of this for myself.  I have the three volume set, but you can access his notes here for free.

6 thoughts on “Stay in the Sanctuary

  1. I didn’t find many applicable results for “release” when I did a word search in the Bible either, but like you, I did find that the idea is there. It’s one of the very themes of God’s message for us! So I love that you are sharing this message: “stay in the sanctuary.”

    My sanctuary is often my brown recliner in the living room. It’s where I can sit and dwell with the presence of God in my life, in my relationships, in me. I look forward to your year with Perspective, Kim.

  2. Pingback: Stay in the Sanctuary: God’s Ways – Life in the 10/40 Window

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