What: Do we understand who we are in Christ and where we reside?
This evening I want to speak about the dwelling place of God. I believe it is imperative that we understand who we are in Christ, and our relationship to God in reference to His Glory in us. It’s everything about who are individually, but also who we are as a church. The church appears to be so enamored by the physical confines that houses it that it has focused on the internal functions of it or the processes, other than operating as the church as individuals operating in the fullness of the Spirit to affect life outside the church walls.
I believe like A.W. Tozer, in his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy”, we have a low view of God, and our low view cuts the voltage of the power of God to us to not only change the world around us, but even when we profess Christ, dull the reality of who He is. You then get people who today who have said even in church, I have never felt the presence of God, or I do not see God. Which is sad, and totally goes against what God intended with His relationship with man. God wants a relationship with us, and He wants to be the blood in our veins giving us life, and He not only wants to give us life, He wants us to give life to others through Him. We must understand who he is to us, and who we are to Him. The place where God dwells.
II. In the Beginning
In Genesis 1, it states that the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. So God was evident in creation before creation on this earth. He there then, and continues to be here now.
In Genesis 3:8, we have God walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. God looking for man, His greatest creation. Looking for man, because of a relationship He had with him, I would believe like a Father to a son and daughter. But man fell.
And due to the fall, God did not walk with man as He had before, because the relationship was broken. You can look through the Old Testament after the fall and see the strained relationship between God and man. God did not walk with man like He did in the garden. God I believe was afar off when speaking to man much of the time. He spoke through Angels, through the priests and the prophets, and directly to certain men, but it was not the creator/perfect creation relationship that God had intended for man. Because sin got in the way.
In Exodus, we see God speaking to Moses. God speaking that He would be there for man, and be amongst man, His people, and in Exodus 25, God spoke to Moses about a place for Him to dwell. In a Tabernacle that housed His Ark. The Ark of God, the Ark of the Covenant or testimony.
“21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony.”
So God resided there, and spoke to man. He wouldn’t be as close to man as he had been in the garden. He would be in the tabernacle that Israel carried from place to place. The mobile house of God ceased when King Solomon constructed a real house for Him, and placed the ark in it to be a dwelling place for God to be worshipped by the people, where the consecrated High Priests entered into the Holy of Holies to meet with God, and hear from God. That continuing until The Spirit of God left the temple in Ezekiel 10:3,18:
“3Now the cherubim were standing to the south of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherub to the threshold of the temple. The temple was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the LORD’s glory. 5The sound of the cherubim’s wings could be heard as far as the outer court; it was like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.”
“18Then the glory of the LORD moved away from the threshold of the temples and stood above the cherubim. 19The cherubim lifted their wings and ascended from the earth right before my eyes; the wheels were beside them as they went.
The glory of the God of Israel was above them, and it stood at the entrance to the eastern gate of the LORD’s house.”
And in verse 22 it states that each one went straight ahead, so Glory of the Lord was gone.
And we see God’s House empty of God. The Temple was destroyed in 586 BC, then rebuilt in 515 BC. But the Glory of the Lord that had filled the Temple in the past, did not seem evident after that until Jesus came.
But as we know, God wanted the relationship to be restored. He wanted to commune with man as He did in the past. Because He loved his creation, and because of our sin and the earth being in a mess as usual because of man, God in His perfect timing, His perfect Love, sent His perfect Son Jesus to save us from ourselves, from our sin. God wanted the relationship with man back. He wanted to live with man again. He wanted to reconcile man, his creation, back to Himself. He wanted to restore His creation back to perfection again.
So God sent His only Son to die for us so we would be restored.
But God did something greater this time. When man was restored by confession, God did not walk with man as before, or speak to man from a fixed image, He came into man. His made His dwelling place in us.
1 Corinthians 3:16
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Because God’s intention from the beginning was never to housed.
"However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:
"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
But God dwelled in temples made by Him. His creation.
I believe man had it in his head that God had to be boxed, structured. We are good at putting God in a box. Putting Him in a place. We are always attempting to bring God to our level. But God will not be boxed, or held down to any standard but His own. God throughout creation has moved Himself from any of man’s small view of what they think of Him. All for man’s existence.
But we see way back in Genesis 28, that Jacob when he lay down to sleep and used a rock as a pillow had a dream. He saw a ladder reach from heaven to earth. The angels were ascending and descending. It states,
13 “And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel,”
Jacob distinguished that the place he was at was the “House of God”. This was out in the middle of nowhere. But God was there. He did not need a place of fabric or wood or stone to be worshipped or to be in the presence of. He needed no structure, because He is everywhere.
And I believe God came into man after the resurrection of His Christ, because he did not want a physical place to commune with man. He knew man’s intentions. A physical place is scheduled. It would be man deciding when to meet with God, or hear God, but God wanting to be with us 24/7. He would be our life, our will, our everything, if we allowed Him to be. No more go betweens. No priests, no sacrifice. No time. He wanted us to be consumed with Him. His Holy Spirit would ever be in us guiding us, giving revelation, wisdom, knowledge, and direction.
2 Corinthians 6:16
“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
The fire that consumed the offerings in the past would now consume us. The glory of the Lord would too.
1 Kings 8:10-13
“It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”
We are now the house. He will fill this temple, the temple of our hearts. The glory of the Lord would now be in us now. For those who would receive it. For when the Glory of the Lord fills a church meeting, it is because of the outflow from the participants; us. He fills us and it flows out.
We would now be in the presence, live in His presence. No more going to the Temple, or finding Him in the desert. And because God is in us, we would be the presence, because God was all over us. We change the atmosphere in the room when we come into it. It was only natural that He would do this because of who we are in Him.
When I accepted Christ as my Savior, and became a dwelling place or house for God, God then opened the door for more for me and for more from me. He was setting me up for the ultimate fulfilment. That I would not be living by earth’s standards anymore; I would be living by the standards of Heaven.
But it would be up to me to believe God’s Word about who I am in Him.
‘But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Life to our mortal bodies? I know we think we have life because we’re alive. But He means more than that. If I now live by Heaven’s standards, my life is not mortal anymore. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is now in me. I am alive in Christ!
My life isn’t natural anymore. Mortals die, and live in death. Immortals live forever with Jesus in paradise. So I am now immortal, and supernatural. Which by heavens standards is natural. But God by the infilling of His Holy Spirit, has moved us into a different life and moved us from just a physical nature into a super natural Spirit nature, where we alter the natural. God intended us from creation to be more than we think or live today.
The heavens are now open, and we are allowed to tap into the invisible resources of heaven that have been standing idle for some time. There have only been glimpses of these resources being used here and there with no real consistency by believers. If the fulfillment of Joel 2 is going to come to pass in a greater way, and we see the gifts of the Spirit being manifest on a grand regular scale, it will be up to us to live in the authority Jesus has at the right hand of the Father because we have that access to heaven.
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Remember the angels that Jacob saw ascending and descending from heaven to earth? They were on assignment. Some angels’ move directly doing God’s bidding, others are moved by God because of us.
God has us on assignment. We pray, God moves. We step out in supernatural faith, God alters the physical and the natural to bring life to someone or to a situation. We say, “In the name of Jesus!” and destruction comes to the satanic. Those set free come to a realization of God’s love for them because of our heart driven resolve to proclaim Jesus to them. Not only through the spoken word, but also through signs, wonders and miracles.
It is up to the believer to realize that this tabernacle houses the power to change the direction of someone’s history. It has the power for people to realize a love that is beyond what they have ever experienced. But it is up to us to live that power. And that power is the love of God who lives in us.
I want to pray an impartation of the Spirit on us to be more bold than we have ever been with a realization of who we are in the Father.