“My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people” Ezekiel 37:27
Ask an ill person in hospital who they would like to see the most. Ask a family during reunion dinner what matters most. The presence of a related person visiting and being among them.
God has made us this way, in His own image, because He himself is a personal and relational being. The great problem about Christianity is that in the midst of going through religious motion, we lost our relationship with God, and thus no longer knew His abiding presence. This is the problem with believers, especially in the Old Testaments.
But not all was lost. The prophets in the Old Testaments often call God’s people to return to His presence – the temple of God. But God specifically renewed His presence not to the temple made of stones, but one made of hearts; and that He will give them a new heart (Jer 31:31-33). In 1 Cor 6:19-20, Apostle Paul makes a remarkable transfer of temple of building to the individual believer. Hence, the presence of God is not just in the temple of the church, but in the lives and heart of every willing believer.
This means you and I are able to intimately enjoy an undivided indwelling of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit living permanently in our lives. The Spirit is not merely an impersonal force, influence or power. The Spirit is the promise that God Himself would once again be present with His people.
The Spirit is God’s own personal presence in our lives and in our midst. He leads us into path of righteousness for His name’s sake. He is grieved when His people does not reflect His character and thus reveal His glory. And He is present in our worship as we sing praise and honor and glory and power to His name.
Today, God wants to revisit His people with His presence. Would you be willing obedient in surrendering your life to experience His indwelling?
Pastor Michael Leong