Planted in the Presence


Psalm 92:12-15
12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
    and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13  For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
    They flourish in the courts of our God.
14  Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
    they will remain vital and green.


I used to think green houses were excessive. Specifically, people who had their own personal greenhouse outside of their own house. I mean they’re plants, they were quite literally born in the soil of the elements. I didn’t think there was much of a point to bringing plants into your own house, much less building houses specifically just for them. But, as I read this passage I was reminded that in order for a seed to thrive and grow it needs the right soil AND the right environment. As I read these verses the question that came to mind was why does the environment matter for the Christian? So I started to do some digging ( pun definitely intended) on the purpose of greenhouses.

A green house is a safe haven for plants. It serves as a shield between nature and what you are growing and thus allows growing seasons to be extended as well as possibly improved. Their purpose is to provide shelter from excess cold or heat as well as reducing the accessibility of insects or pests that have the potential to damage or destroy. It gives stability to a plant's environment, not to mention the access to the constant amount of sunlight and moisture.
Woah. What an incredible picture of what the Psalmist is writing. God’s presence and more specifically His house, is the greenhouse of the godly. In other words, plants growing in the right environment will flourish because they are shielded, and given shelter from the elements and enemies. Their environment is stable, never shaken, providing the space and equipment they need to thrive in and out of season.

In the same way, when we are planted in God’s presence, the effects will lead to a life that is full of vitality, endurance and strength. Even as we mature and age our lives will continue to produce the kind of fruit that lasts for eternity. It’s a promise of a life well lived.
In the writer’s view, this house was represented by the temple of God. The place where His presence could be found, and where worship took place both individually and, more often, among God’s people. Carvings of Palm trees adorned the temple and Cedars were used by the builders for the house of God. They represented the godly who were planted in the courts of the Temple. The Palm tree, tall and thriving in a deserted environment, and Cedars who were known for their strength and durability.

The Psalmist gives us four promises for those planted in the house of The Lord like these trees. He promises that…

  1. They will flourish.
  2. They will grow strong.
  3. They will produce fruit even as they age.
  4. They will live  forever. 

 When we are firmly planted in the presence of God, we will experience the “greenhouse effect”.

We will flourish. We will not only live, or merely exist day in and out, but we will thrive! When that happens, the mundane tasks of our days become less like chores of mediocrity we are just trying to get through, but become tools of our growth. Our minds, hearts, and vision begin to be shaped by the soil we have planted our roots in. A pile of laundry starts to look less like, well a pile of laundry, and more like garments of grace The Lord has graciously provided. The job we wish we didn’t have most days becomes an opportunity to be salt and light to those around us.
We will grow strong. We will grow despite adversity that comes. We will grow in stability and durability. Even though the world around us takes life and is what first John 2 says is “wasting away”, we will endure. The deeper the roots the stronger the Cedar.

We will continue to produce fruit even as we age. “As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.”

We will really live forever. While our bodies and lives decay our hope does not. The Spirit we have been given comes with the promise of life forever with God. However, this is not something we have to wait on, but It is something that we can experience fully right now. When we pursue and prioritize the presence of God we will enjoy a life well lived, because we are planted in the environment we were made for.

Action Step

Prioritize Presence.

Make space in your day to be with God. Talk to Him, open His Word, memorize His promises, go on a walk with Him. Be intentional about guarding yourself from distractions and lean into the process of planting.

Be intentional about prioritizing the gathering of God’s people. .
This Psalm was assigned to a specific day of the week. A day marked for rest and worship for God’s people. We call this day Sabbath. His people would gather together to pursue  the presence of God.

The truth of this passage is that those who prioritize the presence of God now will experience the fullness of a flourishing life. 


Make Psalm 23:6 your prayer for today. Pause for a moment and pray just this one line. Consider setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to pray this multiple times today as a breathe prayer.

“ Surely your goodness and unfailing love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Amen” ps. 23:6
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