Where God Dwells
Sunday, March 6, 2011

 

“Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel His dominion.”  (Ps. 114:2)

 

                Things are different where God lives.  The people of Israel were blessed at one point to be the dwelling place of God.  And things were different then.  The psalmist said, “The Sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.”  Why?  Because, “Judah was God’s sanctuary, Israel was His dominion.”  Where God lives things are very different.  Let’s examine our churches and our own lives and see if the oceans recede in our presence, the rivers part, or the mountains skip.  If God lives there, things will be very different.

 

                Israel conquered the Egyptians with a staff.  They became like a swarm of bees moving from their wanderings to the Promised Land.  Armies trembled and were crushed; rivers parted; walls came tumbling down; nations melted in their pathway; and God was glorified as they moved.  But Israel was not content to want to be God’s dwelling place.  They wanted to be like the world.  They wanted a king to watch over them and protect them.  They preferred to pay life sucking taxes rather than to worship their God.  And God removed His presence and Israel became a wasteland, corpses for vultures to pick away their flesh.

 

                And then along came the Church.  Paul said, “And in [Christ Jesus] you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22)  So, from Israel to the Church, God moved His dwelling place.  And as Paul would later write, that through the Church, “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ever ask or imagine.”  (Eph. 3:20)  The conclusion of the reality that where God lives things are different was brought dramatically home.

 

                The Church conquered the world with love, grace, kindness, gentleness and self-control.  Like a swarm of bees, she moved across the landscape of the continents to become the immovable force upon the earth.  Armies trembled and were crushed, the walls of religion and secularism came tumbling down, and God was glorified by the movement of the Church.  But the Church was not willing to be the dwelling place of God.  We wanted a king to watch over us and protect us – so we gave in to popes, presidents, and kings.  We preferred to pay the life sucking taxes rather than to worship and rely upon our God.  And so God removed His presence and the Church has become a wasteland, corpses for vultures to pick away the flesh.

 

                Things are different where God dwells.  Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor. 6:19)  And because God dwelt in us, Paul would write, “In all things we are more than conquerors (super nikes) through Him who loved us.” (Roman 8:37)  He also wrote, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)  Jesus even said that we can move mountains.  Literally with the Spirit of God dwelling in us, the world is powerless before us.  We are more than conquerors, and we can do everything, including move mountains.  Things are different where God dwells.

 

                Like Paul, I don’t believe I have come anywhere near having all the Christ in me I can absorb.  In fact, His dwelling place is pretty unkempt most of the time.  It is filled with trash that has begun to stink, litter that displaces Him from my dinner table and bedside.  He finds that while I let Him live here, I don’t have time to be His friend.  The dwelling place of God has once again been polluted with fears of the enemies, and I like Israel and the Church have cried out – give me a king, a president, a Congress, a union and let me pay my life sucking taxes rather than rely upon the God for whom seas part, rivers stand, and mountains tremble in His presence.  No I have not achieved having enough Christ in me to overcome the fears of the world, but like Paul, we must make our commitment to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

                 We have the power to change the world in which we live.  But we cannot do it with political systems, mighty armies, and peace treaties.  We can only do it with the God who dwells inside of us.  For His victories will be laced with love, grace, hope, and power.  As Paul told the Church, “I am coming to see you, to discover your power.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, it is a matter of power.” (1 Cor. 4:20 PAR)  The power of God still causes seas to roar, rivers to part, and mountains to tremble.   And where there is no power – God does not dwell.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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