Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Pattern of God's Glorious Dwelling

I understand more of what Jesus spoke of in John Chapter 14 /15 aptly summarized by this verse: "14:23-Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."

I understand that this is not a completely new concept for God to express in His word. For centuries He promised, or performed, in consequence to obedience from faith, a glorious dwelling or abiding of His presence. Throughout John's gospel those who keep Christ's words are synonymous with those who truly believed. Those who received Christ for who He said He was, namely the Son of God, would also keep His word because they had first received / believed it. God's lavish response to love this obedient believer is by making His dwelling with them.

In Exodus chapter 40 a similar thing happens. Throughout the Chapter, Moses is said to have erected the tabernacle (literally "dwelling" or "tent") just as God had commanded Him. At the end of the chapter, following a triumphant statement that all was completed, "the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the (Z)glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."(Ex. 40:34). It abided there day and night for the 40 years of wandering because of Moses' obedience, and the people's from previous chapters. Moses and the people God had moved (see Ex. 35:22) had believed God's commands to be weighty and true enough to perform in fullness. God responded with lavish love to have his Glorious presence in a cloud by day or pillar of fire by night.

Now there are some major differences to these to glorious dwellings of God, generally that the dwelling for believers is much more full than that of Old Testament. I may delve into that more later. But the pattern of belief and then God's dwelling presence is the same.

Many times I forget the rich undeserved joy of having God's presence with me. Sometimes I forget He is there altogether. I miss so much rich fellowship and miss the production of that fellowship--the fruit of the Spirit. My prayer the last few days has simply been to remember God and all of His works--all that I know at least. And in remembering to hold tightly to Him.