"God's Dwelling" Tuesday Psalm 46:4
“God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams
bring joy and delight to his people.
His river flows right through the city of God Most High,
into his holy dwelling places.”
Psalm 46:4 (TPT)
In the midst of the Christmas season an astounding concept can become quite familiar and understated. Wrapped up in the name found in the center of Isaiah’s prophetic proclamation of who Jesus would be is a reality barely grasped. Immanuel, the name given in Isaiah’s prophetic word regarding Jesus means God with us. Likely if you’ve grown up around the Christian faith you have heard this before. But like all things that become common, the reality of what this name implies is often missed. I know I certainly fail to grasp it!
Think about it: God with us. However, the bible doesn’t stop there. God with us is beautiful, but that’s not the fullness of it. Not only is He with us but as believers who have received the work Christ did on the cross for our salvation, He also dwells in us.
Let’s think about that for a minute. God chose to become a human in the form of Jesus who started His life the same as all of us did, as a baby. He was born right in the midst of chaos, scandal and human brokenness.
He came right into the middle of our brokenness in order to become the answer to it.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)
Great question posed by Paul and one that we generally answer to quickly. Do you really know that you are God’s temple and that He dwells within you? I know I have to ask myself the same thing. What are the implications of such a wild actuality?
As our Psalmist discovered above an incredible benefit of this reality is the fact that all that God is and has “flows into” His dwellings which is a depiction of the New Testament church indwelt with His Spirit. We have the fullness of His kingdom already inside of us: all the peace, wisdom, joy, grace, goodness etc. we would ever need! It’s just learning how to access it and let His Spirit permeate and transform every part of our soul and body.
One aversion to fully recognizing God’s indwelling Spirit can be propagated by shame or condemnation. It can’t be true that a Holy and perfect God would really indwell us imperfect beings can it be? And if so, He see’s it all. Besides the cradle though, there are many places in the bible which reveal to us God has always been comfortable dwelling among the mess of humanity in order to bring light to it.
In John 8 a most stunning portrayal of God’s grace and perspective is found. A woman caught in adultery is brought before Jesus (representing the Father), and He is asked to give justice according to the law by having her stoned to death. Jesus, instead, asks a cutting question revealing to the accusers their own self- righteousness and then turns to the woman to set her free stating, “And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (Jn. 8:11) . In one sweeping act the heart of God was revealed, the heart of religiosity dismantled and the plan of salvation unfolded.
God desired to rescue the world and restore humanity to Himself.
The angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth echoed this heart and intent of God refusing to stay away from our mess but rather to run towards it and heal it.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you”.
Luke 2:10 (NIV)
A Savior was born; the answer to the problem of sin and destruction - Jesus. And now His work is carried on through the Holy Spirit indwelling everyone who has received Christ as their Savior.
Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit within us.
He does not condemn but rather seeks to call us back to Himself and His ways which are always a blessing. He is not hiding from our brokenness but revealing it by His light in order to heal it.
Throughout the history of God and His people from the Garden of Eden, Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacles and temples, and cradle at Bethlehem, to the heart of the believer God constrained Himself in order to become accessible to us.
What a wonder it is!
I pray the revelation of “God with you” will take on deeper and deeper levels throughout this season and that you will be able to connect to His Spirit within you in greater measures. May you feel nourished by the “river of God” flowing in and through you as His child this Christmas.