God’s Presence a Priority

What’s the first thing you do when you move to a new home? Find the nearest coffee shop? Visit the neighbors? With a hundred items on the “To Do” list, prioritization is difficult. King David made God’s presence a priority. When he moved his capital to Jerusalem, he tried to bring the ark of the covenant to the city.

The ark was a box about the size of a TV stand or a chest freezer and it stood in the tabernacle. In a way that we can’t fully understand, God’s glory was concentrated in the space above and between two cherubim on the “mercy seat,” the lid covering the ark. David wanted God close, perhaps in his own back yard.1

David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.(2 Sam. 6:2)

Why did David place ark retrieval so high on his list? Events that transpired when the ark was around show why God’s presence is so valuable:

During Israel’s earlier war with Philistia, the ark of God’s presence made Israel confident while the Philistines were afraid. Later, the Philistines captured the ark because of Israel’s sin; the Philistines became confident, and Israel despaired.2 The Philistines took the ark home and each city it visited suffered an epidemic of tumors because of their ungodliness, so they sent it back.3 On the other hand, when it stayed with Obed-edom in Israel, his household flourished.

The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; and the Lord blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had.(1 Chron. 13:14)

God’s presence punishes evil but brings tremendous benefits to people seeking relationship with Him. David wanted God just for who He is, as well as for the blessings of His presence.

Now, of course, God’s presence is everywhere, but how much do we value it? When we move on in life, does His presence remain our priority? Let’s ensure that God dwells in the capital places of our lives—the core of our personal and family economies, our decision making, our industry, and our bustling social hub.

  1. 2 Chron. 8:11 []
  2. 1 Sam. 4:1-7, 18, 22 []
  3. 1 Sam. 5:1-12 []

4 thoughts on “God’s Presence a Priority

  1. Jan

    Is God’s presence a high enough priority? That question is a challenge! thanks for asking! But then, how can we make this practical? How do we prioritize Gods presence? What to do when we want to find it? How can we “bring the ark of the covenenant” to our new home? In other words, what David did practically, how can we do that spiritually? I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Blessings from Senegal, Jan.

    1. John Avery Post author

      Thanks Jan, excellent questions. I hope that the posts that follow will answer to some extent. Two other suggestions that might require a little thought: Prioritizing God’s presence might begin with making a priority of assigning our life priorities! Also, if we give every part of our lives to God and He begins to fill them all He will also be central.

    2. Dick K.

      God is all about relationship. If we want to keep His presence a priority we have to spend quality time with Him just like any other relationship we are trying to enjoy. We can hear from Him every time we read His Word for example. Hopefully that time well spent will show up as a reflection of His image in us. If we truly desire His presence a high priority we will move toward Him.

      1. John Avery Post author

        Thanks Dick, a good perspective. I hope you will consider signing up for future posts and encourage others who might be helped in their spiritual growth by them.


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