Heart Meditations 6 - Whatever is Lovely - David Mitts
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Php 4:8-9 NASB)
Last chapter we looked at purity of heart and the opening of our spiritual eyes to see God. Yeshua told us:
We realized that purity of heart is a transformative process that develops in us and develops us into those who walk with God. In this process, we achieve Tamim, or what is loosely translated as being blameless. Noah was described this way in Genesis 6.
"These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." Gen 6:9 (NASB)
The word translated “blameless”, Tamim, means to be whole, complete, without any blemish, spot, or wrinkle.
"that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless." Eph 5:27 (NASB)
We, as believers are being matured into this condition of Tamim, as we walk with Him. Our meditation is an intentional conversation with Him and deep saturation of His word. As we increasingly come into oneness with Him, we are perfected into the Tamim.
Our next meditation is on things that are lovely. The first thing that we notice is that inside the word lovely is the word love. Loveliness is activated by love. We have a saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I think the clearest example of this is babies. Babies are always beautiful to their parents and especially grandparents!
What this demonstrates to us is that in our hearts we have a choice about what is lovely or beautiful to us. We choose what we determine as lovely. The key is to begin with love in our hearts. In, Psalm 84:1, the psalmist declares:
"For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!" Psa 84:1 (NAS95)
The first thing we see is an instruction of the type of musical instrument that is involved in this prophetic declaration in song, a gittith. This instrument that the Psalm is to be played on is from Gath. It is named after a winepress. When I think of this in contemporary music terms I think of blues music. Blues has its origins in the south in the African-American slavery work environments. Blues music would sing songs that carried the tragedies and also the hope and the promise of salvation.
Many of the Psalms carry this dual message of oppression and salvation. The key person in the music is God.
Psalm 84 is written by the sons of Korah. This is a prophetic family that prophesied in music. Korah was the leader of the rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Remembering that Korah, like all Israel at the time was a product of slavery we can see in the music of the sons of Korah that hope for deliverance and salvation rests in God alone.
In this psalm, the revelation of loneliness is directed to the dwelling places of the Lord. Anywhere the Lord dwells in beautiful. He dwells wherever HE IS DECLARED AS THE MASTER. The master of the house protects the house. In the times of Psalms, this was about the tabernacle of God. He dwelt with His people in their midst in the Tabernacle or Mishkan.
Mishkan contains the word Schken, which means neighbor. God was seen as a neighbor in the community. A neighborhood is defined by the quality of the people living in the neighborhood. You have good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods. In a good neighborhood, there is safety and the neighbors look out for one another. The good neighborhood is well cared for. The homes are tended to and the streets are safe. There is order and there is joy.
A bad neighborhood is marked by disrepair and crime. The streets are dangerous and there is fear in the Land.
The word schken contains the root “ken” which means yes. This tells us that in the dwelling place of God, His neighborhood there is the presence of the “yes”. This is the condition of agreement and of miracles.
In the new covenant, this dwelling place has shifted to the hearts of Believers.
"Or what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL AMONG THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE." 2Co 6:16 (NASB)
This literally means that we are the neighborhood of God and that wherever we gather we begin to have a “good neighbor” influence on those around us. This is the power of loveliness. The dwelling places of the Lord bring loveliness to the neighborhood. Yeshua told us:
"“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”" Mat 18:20 (NASB)
This exposes the anti-Christ agenda of today to diminish the gathering impact of the Church. The Church isn’t just another social structure. It isn’t a club of Christians who have Christianity and its practices as a hobby like stamp collecting or baking brownies. No! Because the Believers are the Church and because God dwells in them, the Church is a force for the transformation of community into a dwelling place, a “Mishkan” of goodness and light. It is the carrier of the PRESENCE which transforms the kingdoms of this world which reside in a power structure of fear and chaos into the kingdom of God, of love joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit.
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Rom 14:17 (NASB)
"In the Holy Spirit" refers to the indwelling Presence of God transforming lives and transforming community. This is the place of the “ken” or yes of God.
"But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but has been yes in Him. For as many as the promises of God are, in Him they are yes; therefore through Him also is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." 2Co 1:18-22 (NASB)
If we can begin to grasp the reality of what is being communicated here. We contain the power of yes, the power of agreement. This doesn’t mean we can agree on just anything. Our agreement is based on His Presence. He defines the yes.
His word transforms our lives, not just individually but through community. Today there is powerful teaching speaking of the seven pillars of life that the Church is called to be an agent of transformation.
"Wisdom has built her house, She has carved out her seven pillars;" Pro 9:1 (NASB)
These are defined as:
2. Religion – (Spirituality)
3. Business – (Economy, Finance)
4. Politics – (Government)
6. Media – (Communication)
7. Arts – (Entertainment, Celebration, Sports)
We exist in and interact with all of these in one way or another and the key is the dwelling of the Lord in them through His tabernacle, His people.
Returning to the Psalm I began with and our mediation of lovely, the dwelling of the Lord is a lovely place. Now, we can bring this into some focus when we meditate because we open up our concept of what beauty is to include the neighbors and neighborhood of our lives. Now, we understand or maybe glimpse an understanding that we cannot say of ourselves that we are not political or not spiritual. We cannot say of ourselves that we are not family-oriented. We cannot say of ourselves that business is not our thing or education or the media or even the arts. No! To be a dwelling place of God in the Earth, to be a place of beauty, we have to have a vision for world impact.
Yeshua told us that the kingdom was in our midst.
"nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”" Luk 17:21 (NASB)
It is a lovely kingdom and we are instructed to meditate intentionally on that kingdom. We are called to be change catalysts through our gathering and the way we live our lives. This is how we overcome the antiChrist force that is seeking to scatter us and make us ineffective through imposing isolation.
“The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters." Luk 11:23 (NASB)
You see the purpose of God coming to earth wasn’t to bring an escape from the earth. He does promise to return and gather His elect from the four winds.
“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven." Mar 13:27 (NASB)
But He also tells us how to live in the days prior to His coming and it is as impact people.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. “Watch out, stay alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is. “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay alert. “Therefore, stay alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— so that he does not come suddenly and find you asleep. “What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”" Mar 13:32-37 (NASB)
How do we stay alert? By meditating on what is lovely the kingdom of love that He has called us to. We stay alert by occupying until He comes and doing our best to be agents of transformation.
Luke 19 tells us the parable of the servants and the minas.
“And he called ten of his own slaves and gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with this money until I come back.’ “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ “When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be summoned to him so that he would learn how much they had made by the business they had done. “The first slave appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave; since you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to have authority over ten cities.’ “The second one came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ “And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ “And then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept tucked away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.’ “He *said to him, ‘From your own lips I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow? ‘And so why did you not put my money in the bank, and when I came back, I would have collected it with interest?’ “And then he said to the other slaves who were present, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ “And they said to him, ‘Master, he already has ten minas.’ ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away." Luk 19:13-26 (NASB)
Consider your ways! This a picture of living a life of faithfulness. So, while we certainly live life in anticipation of the return of the Lord, He will hold us accountable for the faithfulness of our treasures that He has entrusted us with. Meditating on loveliness is thinking and acting on bringing forth His increase in and through our lives.
Activation: Take some inventory time in your life. Look at the seven pillars and ask the Lord how you are doing with your minas. Are you bringing forth increase? Is there more or less beauty? Are you seeing loveliness? What do you need to change to be a greater steward in your life?