Saturday, May 1

Don't Just VISIT God

You're a Christian, a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ? Great! But what does that mean? More beauty is lost on assumption than most will ever know. This post is a call to NOT assume, but to assimilate, to ponder. Read on. . . 

Rightly understood, the theme of "dwelling" will lift the soul of any Christian and set him on a plane high above most who think that they understand the Christian life. In order to see it's beauty, we must give some biblical background. 

"Dwell" in Scripture 
Over 400 verses use the word "dwell" and most, as you would imagine, have to do with housing. But very often in the wisdom writings (Job-Proverbs, specifically) the word is used to to describe figurative housing. For instance, a very familiar verse says, "And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Ps. 23:6). Again, Psalm 37:27 urges, "Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever." Many other verses could be amassed likewise. They're not referring to location, "live here or there." They are pointing out the manner or attitude in which someone lives. To dwell, then, is more about "belonging," or "willingly remaining," or the desire with which we live somewhere. It's about love. We talk about "putting down roots," about "owning property" as a sign of being settled. It takes time and thought to decide where to live. And then the question is do we really live where we are living? In other words, do we enjoy it, make the best of it? Are we anxious to leave, or very glad to stay? Dwelling is another word for security, or being homey. Hominess means "pleasantly comfortable and cozy." That's at least what dwelling in heaven will be. Right?! Sure. 

Dwelling as Worship 
Now, let's bring this "home," not to be too cute! And I just LOVE this! Psalm 27:4 says it so well . . . "One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple." There is an actual and a figurative way in which we must understand this. Obviously, it's figurative because no one could "dwell" in the temple all day without shirking the duties associated with their household and jobs. And the Word commands us to do these with all our hearts as unto the Lord (1 Cor. 10:31). OK, that being said, it sets the table as it were for what's most important here. And this is so often overlooked or missed altogether!

More Than a Mere Visit

If there's one thing that the modern day church needs to grasp, it is this. Serving, worshiping, and loving God is an all-consuming, joyous, delightful preoccupation. (Note: we use that term "preoccupation" of those who seem to not be able to get something off their minds. They are just too consumed to focus on anything else) POINT? God is our preoccupation! We do other things, pay bills, play ball, read books, wash dishes, but this, this love for God is our preoccupation! And it is so normal that it's very LACK caused Jesus to "stand at the door" of the Laodicean church and knock in order to come in and sit down at the table with the church (Rev. 3:20) so that they could enjoy Him and he them. They had missed the point. Many today STILL DO! Most see God as One whom they VISIT, and the church as a place to go. God, to them, is not the ONE with whom they willingly DWELL, live with all day comfortably, pleasantly, . . . cozily! Ah, what the church of Jesus Christ is missing is gargantuan! Christ has died and risen so that he may "dwell in our hearts by faith" (Eph. 3:17). Almost at the end of the Bible we read these loving words, 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. ” (Revelation 21:3)
Indeed, we need to hear that "loud voice from the throne" and echo the words of the Psalmist-
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple! ” (Psalm 65:4)
Oh, I hope we all grow immensely on this point alone. Don't ever be satisfied to merely visit, DWELL with God. that's your comfort, security . . . your HOME!

NOTE: I tried to find a picture suitable to describe "home," but realized something. They are all properties, beautiful, idyllic, even homey. But they're not MY home. I couldn't use them. I think that's the point isn't it? Dwelling with God isn't something prepackaged and up for sale. It's too intimate, too personal for that. I learned a lot just from the inability to find a proper photo! The quilty look will have to do.

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