Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH #4: God Really Lives Within Us

There is an incredible reality to be discovered in the Gospel. One that should revolutionize the life, boggle the mind, and transform the behavior of every single Christian who fully perceives it. However, the sad thing is that, while many Christians are aware of this reality in theory, they mostly live lives that effectively deny it on a daily basis.

The reality? Simply that God lives within every single person who has placed their trust in Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

Think of it. God, the Creator of the Universe, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, actually lives within you. Not just when you’re praying. Not just when you’re at Church. Not just when you’re doing something Holy or Spiritual, but all the time.

If we really took this truth to heart, it would radically transform our daily routine. Unfortunately, we behave as if this essential element of the Gospel isn’t actually true. We behave as if it’s a metaphor, but not as if the very same presence of the Holy One that used to hover over the Ark of the Covenant in the Jewish Temple is actually residing within our ribcage.

Now, I can go through a fairly extensive list of scriptures right now to prove this reality, but if you don’t already accept this as an actuality, it will only support this idea in theory, not enhance your reality.

As God Himself alluded early on, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?" (Isaiah 66:1)

When King David wanted to answer that question personally by building a house for God, he was told that God would be the one to build Himself an acceptable dwelling place. The one who would accomplish this was the promised Messiah.

But the problem is, when Jesus arrived there was already a very large Temple standing in the center of Jerusalem. So, what Temple did Jesus build? He built the acceptable house "not made with human hands" that is “made of living stones" - the Church.

And who is The Church? We are. Those who follow Jesus are the living temple of God.

This means that we are His resting place. We are house that God has built for Himself.

"I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

So, this is more than hyperbole. This is not a nice metaphor. This is reality. God abandoned the physical Jewish Temple in Jerusalem the very moment that Jesus fulfilled the promise by offering himself as the Lamb of God as the High Priest of God in the Temple of His Body when he died on the cross.

Next, God tore the veil in the Temple to emphasize that He would no longer reside behind that veil or hover over the Ark of the Covenant, as He foretold through the prophet Jeremiah:

"In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the LORD, "men will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made." (Jeremiah 3:16)

Where would He reside from now on? Within the heart of every single member of the Body of Christ.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Over and over again in the New Testament, Jesus and the Apostles affirm the glorious truth – God has come to live in the hearts and lives of every man, woman and child who loves Him.

In fact, this is what the New Covenant (or New Testament) is all about!

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.” (Jeremiah 31:31)

And what was this New Covenant all about?

“This is the (new) covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 31:33-34)

See how amazing this is? If you have surrendered your life to Christ, God is actually alive within you right now.

This means that you and I cannot ever escape God’s presence. He is with us this very moment. In fact, one of the names of the Messiah was “Emmanuel” which means “God with us” so it should come as no surprise really.

God’s greatest desire is to make His home in your heart. He wants His thoughts to be your thoughts. He wants your desires to be His desires. He wants to make you His Bride, which as Paul expresses is a “Profound Mystery” for the ages.

What’s sad is that we don’t really believe this is true. We read the words and we say “amen” at the concept, but in actual point of fact we just don’t buy it.

But just imagine for a moment if we did believe it. How would this awesome truth change your attitude, affect your behavior, influence your actions?

If you were fully convinced that every breath and heartbeat was inhabited with the actual Holy presence of the Creator of the Universe, you’d probably love people more, have more patience, treat people with more respect, trust God with your anxieties and fears more, and be more careful about the things you said out loud – and the things you muttered under your breath.

I’m not sure about you, but I think it would be a much better world if we all really believed that God was alive within us every moment of every day.

What do you think?


*NOTE: This article originally appeared in Yoke Magazine under the title: "An Incredible Reality" and was the inspiration for the series, “Unbelievable Truth” here on this blog.


the alternative1 said...

great post--I have no trouble believing it but I do struggle with the reality of it in my moment to moment daily life--thanks for the great word--I printed it and will be meditating on it to try and make it more of a reality.

Donna Enterline said...

I love this!I believe this. Prayers to resist getting caught up in the worldliness that is all around us...