“If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them,.. I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you… I will make my dwelling among you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” Leviticus 26:3,9,11-13; Psalm 90:1
What a promise! The LORD on high, Covenant God, pledges to make His dwelling, His “tabernacle,” among His people, to be with them forever. This people, whom He had chosen and set apart, freed from slavery to be His, would never stand or fight or move alone; His presence would ever abide with them as their identity, their power, their shield, their guide. As He laid out their law and pledged to bring them into the promised land and settle them, this vow must have secured them with immense hope. Their God Who had been faithful thus far would be in the generations ahead. He would take up permanent residence in their midst.
And on this side of the cross, we carry the same but distinct promise: His Spirit resides in the temple of our bodies, our hearts, uniting us with Him mysteriously and forever. I love the thought of ‘hosting’ my Lord as my permanent houseguest resident, sometimes in conversation with me, sometimes quiet, always near. I can sense His Presence and movement even when I cannot see Him; I know His fragrance, His peace, His tender care, His awareness of all that goes on. He is always available, and always a gentleman. Wherever I am planted, He is here. (John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
“A little Sanctuary art Thou to me! O Jesus, best beloved! I live with Thee: My heart is stilled beneath love’s canopy, Its sure abiding place where’er I am.
A little Sanctuary art Thou to me! My heart has found its everlasting home, The Holiest of All is opened wide, And I may enter and be satisfied.
A little Sanctuary art Thou to me! No fabled shrine, but deep reality! Thou saidst it should be so when at Thy call I rose and followed gladly, leaving all.
A little Sanctuary art Thou to me! All joyfully I pitch my tent with Thee; Or ready still to journey at Thy word– In Thee I live and move, most blessed Lord.” ~ E. May Grimes
What difference is it making, day by day, that my Jesus dwells with me and I with Him? What evidence is there in my demeanor, my outlook, my expectations and desires that He is near, loving, speaking, counseling me? Are my words seasoned with grace because I have conversed with Him, my hands gentle and plans others-centered because He has held mine and energized them for His work?
Father, Dwelling Place, I rest in Thee. May the abode I prepare for You each day honor You and show forth Your glory. Thank You that because of Jesus, I will dwell in Your house forever. (Psalm 23:6)