The God who indwells

The world is quick to judge God by its own experiences. Then they deny His existence because He fails to be the god they want Him to be. The contradiction is astounding! Because Yahweh will never be the God of mankind’s imagination or wishful thinking, the world concludes He is not worthy of their belief, so they deny His existence.

Thousands of years ago, David pondered this perplexing trait of humanity also, and recorded God’s observation of the matter. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God (Psalm 14:2). The conclusion of His worldwide search through the ages, was that they have all turned away… (Psalm 14:3). David concluded that the fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Equally, it is the foolish person who says “No” to God in conclusion to their own one sided and self-centred evaluation of life and the existence of God.

By contrast, Christians give preference to God’s witness on the matter. And in Isaiah 57:15 we again read the Lord’s testimony of Himself. For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” What a breathtaking difference from mankind’s conclusion. A few quick observations will speak for themselves.

The Lord is not like us. He is separate from mankind in purity. He is the One and only supreme being who lives and reigns outside of the materialistic and time trapped universe. He is above all that the world perceives in the universe, and He inhabits eternity, meaning, He lives in and fills the totality of all that exists outside of our known sphere of time and existence. As the only sovereign over everything and everyone, He reveals Himself as the One whose name is Holy. From our human perspective, every facet of God’s existence; His character, His motives, His thoughts, His speech, His actions, and His reactions, are best summarised by His intrinsic holiness. He is incapable of anything other than pure perfection. Therefore, His heavenly existence and governance is, and shall always remain, HOLY!

Yet, we also see that Holy God has a second preferred place in which to dwell; with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit. What staggering extremes! From the indescribable greatness and beauty of His heavenly home to the corrupted mortality of a human host. The simple human invitation required for the Almighty to respond, is humility towards Him. To the person who does an honest self-evaluation, and concludes that they are lowly, and poor in spirit before God (Mat 5:3), the Almighty performs that which is impossible for us. The Lord moves to dwell with them.

But how you ask? By reviving the spiritual heart of the one who is broken in humility before God. Jesus explained this transition to Nicodemus, that it is the Spirit of God who causes a person to be born again spiritually (Jn 3:1-15). The Holy Spirit creates new life within the spiritually dead person. Jesus promised that the Spirit would dwell with you and will be in you (John 14:17). So, if anyone loves me (Jesus), he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:23).

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