Better is One Day??? Really?


Honesty in Worship-


Better Is One Day

How lovely is Your dwelling place
Oh Lord Almighty,
For my soul doth long And even faint for You
Oh, here my heart is satisfied (is satisfied)
Within Your presence I see beneath the shadow of your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask, And I would seek,
To see Your beauty to find You in
The place Your glory dwells
One thing I ask And I would seek,
To see Your beauty to find You in
The place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out for You, the Living God
Your Spirit’s water to my soul
I’ve tasted, and I’ve seen come once again to me
I will draw near to You


I cannot remember the first time I actually heard this song, but it has always been awkward for me.   For many years I absolutely did not like when a band would play this song during a church service or camp meeting I was attending.  I just could not get into it.  I loved the melody, and I loved the musical portion of it…but I could not get into the lyrics.  About 6 months ago I picked up this song while picking out music for a Sunday morning service.  I sang through it for the first time by myself and just really enjoyed singing it, but it was still awkward for me.  I put the song down in my stack of music sheet.   I continued to pick up the song and sing it through, enjoying various styles of A, B, and E chords that I could make up while singing the beautiful melody over the top of it.  But every time I set it back down into the pile and refused to use it while leading musical worship on a Sunday.  Finally about a month ago I was at a loss of what songs God wanted me to use.  I had been through my stack of music about ten times, had pulled out songs each time, and had put almost all of them back. Every time however, Better is One Day kept sticking in the back of my mind.  So I sang it through again…”wow, I love this song…but man, it’s so awkward…”  I searched and searched that week, trying to find music that would fit the theme, music that would push the congregation to continue to seek God further.  But I could not nail down a song list.  I actually do this quite often.  I am always adding a song the night before, taking a song away the day of, or even adding a song in the middle of the set. It just happens. God will lay something on my heart that he wants and I try to adjust.  This week however, was so much worse.  I had nothing at all.  I knew God would give me the songs in time for Sunday…but I had others depending on me. The PowerPoint needed to be done and the musicians needed to practice prior to Sunday as well. 

I went over and over music, prayed, asked God what he wanted…and finally it hit me.  God wants my sincere, honest heart.  But during that week I did not desire God.  I did not want to be in front of a church leading people in musical worship when I did not feel like I could even worship God myself.  I feel that to be a worship leader, I need to first and foremost be a worshiper.  I was not in a place of worship that week. I was in a place of stressful helplessness.  But God still wanted to use me. 

I think it is such an amazing thing that the God of this universe, the almighty creator, who can basically do whatever he wants with just one word…desires to make me a part of it.  I learn so much about God every time I lead.  I always feel so helpless in knowing what he desires, and through that I depend on him to guide me.  It is amazing.

But I feel that the thing God desired out of me more than anything that week was honesty.   I was not in a place where worshiping God was my utmost desire, and even when I truly am desiring and pursuing God, he is not always the most prominent thing on my mind, completely forsaking all other things because God is better than them.  There are so many things that I can think of that are better than spending time with God!  That is my utmost honesty.  That is why I figured out, Better is One Day has been so awkward for me.  As I am singing the words I am constantly thinking about going to the concert on Friday night, or how I would much rather have a drink from the cold fountain in the lobby then have the Spirit water my soul.  God desires honesty and he was telling me that.  I picked up Better is One day and I added it to the set for Sunday. 

I shared on that Sunday morning how God was messing with my heart and teaching me about worship.  One huge thing I realized with this song is that the courts or house of God does not always refer to me going to church.  Paul writes that we are all temples of God and his spirit lives in us.  As a result, we can worship God wherever we are.  We can use our daily experiences to draw us closer to God. So even when there are things we desire to do rather than sit down and do a devotional, we can use those times to continue to worship God during.  If we are going fishing, we can celebrate God’s creation and thank him for what he has made for us.  Through this we are entering into the courts of God and it is better than anything else! 

Still, there are many times in our lives that we are not able to sing words like “Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere”.  There are days we just do not desire God!  We need to cry out to him through those times.  If we are not able to sing those words, instead tell the Lord through this song that this is where we want to be.  Tell him that you want to look upon the heavens and long for him and be completely satisfied with him.   And some day we will be!  On that day when we enter his heavenly courts for the first time, we will no longer be distracted by the things of this world reaching to us, telling us that a taste of the world can take the place of God every now and then…instead we will be focused on God, our savior and redeemer.

Worshiping God cannot be done unless we are honest and allow God to work through us, especially when we are going through times of drought.  God desires an honest heart.

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:50 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s awesome man. I think there are all sorts of lyrics that we sing that we probably are not honest at all with. if we were, we probably wouldn’t sing them? But sometimes we sing “vision” something that should be happening or will happen in the future as well. So sometimes, it might be okay to sing something that is not presently true but that is promised as completely true in the future.

    Thanks for the post!


    • Exactly. I have learned that sometimes all we can do is sing about where we want to be, because many times we are not there yet.

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