Continuing our week-long look at God’s Eternal Purpose, today Tobias Valdez unveils God’s desire for a Home. Note, this is just an excerpt of a larger project on which he is working.
Throughout scripture we see various pictures, or shadows, of God’s Eternal Purpose, one of which is the Father’s desire to have a house or dwelling place. This house is to be His abiding place, His place of rest, where His presence resides, and He has complete freedom to be, and express His life. As we’ll see with each aspect of the Eternal Purpose, the theme of God’s desire for a house starts in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, runs throughout the Scriptures, and is seen in its fulfillment in Revelation chapters 21 and 22.
Without A Resting Place
In the first two verses of Genesis chapter one we see the heavens and the earth in their primitive state, for it tells us, “The earth was formless and void (or waste and emptiness), and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2, NASB) We see God’s Spirit hovering, an implication that He is not at rest. He does not yet have His abiding place, His home. As we continue reading, we see God set about to establish His dwelling place, for it is to be with man, as man is at creation-in his proper state, not as man later becomes-in his fallen state.
Partaking of God’s Provision
It is important to note that everything Adam and Eve needed to live life as God purposed was found in the garden. Not only were there all types of trees producing fruits and other vegetation to eat from, but there was also a tree producing a fruit containing Divine Life within itself, the Tree of Life. We should also note they were given instructions to tend or cultivate the garden. There was only one tree God instructed Adam not to eat of; the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. All Adam and Eve had to do was to partake of what God had given to them, as His provision for them, and humanity would experience life, as God purposed it to be. For that is how God’s house is built; by partaking of God’s Provision. However, eating from the wrong tree would mean death for humanity and the rest of creation, and God would be homeless.
A Desire Deferred
In Genesis 3, we see that Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil, and God’s purpose was temporarily thwarted. From this point in Scripture until we reach Revelation, we can see a God, Who is bent on fulfilling His ultimate intention, and restoring that which He most desires to have; His dwelling place. And He will never relent.
As we exit Genesis 3, we see God still making provisions for man, and we realize He has not given up on His desire to have a dwelling place. He would simply wait until He could obtain another man by which to bring about His purpose.
The Reality Incarnate
“16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he (John the baptizer) saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus), 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17 (NASB)
With the appearance of Jesus, God brought the spiritual reality into the earthly realm. No longer would God deal with His people or the world through types and shadows. He brought the embodiment of His dwelling place into our physical realm. The house of God is not a building made of brick and mortar, or even stones hewn by human hands. It is no longer a place for people to go to in order to offer sacrifices and burn incense in worship.
The true House of God is a living person, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
Notice the voice of God coming from the heavens saying, “My beloved Son, IN whom I am well-pleased.” The word IN speaks to location and position. God the Father was saying, “I am IN my Son. I have secured My Abiding Place, and it is in the person of My Son, Jesus.”
Christ Jesus is the full realization of God dwelling with man, and man dwelling with God. Just as John tells us…
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He Was in the beginning with God. 3 All Things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-5, 14 (NASB)
In the original language, the words for “dwelt among us” actually mean He “tabernacled among us.” God had the place for His presence to once again dwell among and with men, and it was in His True Tabernacle, His Son, Jesus. The use of the word “tabernacled” shows that Jesus was also a person of the altar and the tent. As a person of the altar, Jesus was a person of sacrifice and consecration unto His Father. Jesus was set on doing His Father’s will, instead of His own. He was not out to fulfill His own desires, but the desires of His Father. As a person of the tent, He also had no attachments to the temporary things of this world. His roots were not earthly roots. Jesus often spoke of His kingdom being “not of this world.”
By Him, Through Him, To Him and For Him
“1 Thus says the Lord, ‘Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for me? And where is a place that I may rest?” – Isaiah 66:1 (NASB)
For ages man has tried to do things his own way, by living by the knowledge of good and evil. This has caused strife, division, death and so much more. Ever since the fall of man, mankind has desired to get to heaven on our own. We have tried to “do church” in the ways that we think would be best or in ways which serve the needs of man. If you search the internet for churches or ministries, you’ll find tons of different religious institutions that are centered around being a certain type of church or catering to a certain crowd, whether it be traditional, modern, post-modern, evangelical, catholic, protestant, non-denominational, inter-denominational, worship-focused, bible-centered, youth-oriented, family-oriented, charismatic, conservative, liberal, ad nauseam. So many of these are built by man, focused on meeting the needs of man, ministering to man, and following the traditions of man.
Yet God’s desire is to build His house, His way, by His life. He desires to bring heaven to earth, and dwell among men. He longs to fill the earth with His expression. He longs for a people so bent on Him and His purpose to be His expression upon the earth. He is set on having a holy people, a spiritual house, and a royal priesthood devoted singularly to Him. The only way this can ever be accomplished is by the hand of God, and He has already provided His Way in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
God’s Eternal Purpose is to have His House, His dwelling place on the earth. He desires to have a place where He can rest, where His presence can abide, where He has complete freedom to be, and where His life can be expressed in and through His people. However, what we must realize is that this work of building God’s House is not something we can do. It can only be done by Him.
“1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” – Psalm 127:1 (NASB)
As the Master Builder, God will build His House using the living stones who have received Him. He will build His House in the way He has chosen, which can only be in and through His Son, Christ Jesus. There is no other way. If you haven’t recognized this yet, let me speak plainly; The House of God is not for man, it is for God. It is built by Him. It is built through Him. It is built to Him. And it is built for Him.
Just as in Genesis 1, God is searching the world over, seeking out a people who will live unto Him for His Eternal Purpose. He longs for His living stones to share His life together so deeply as to allow Him to build Himself into them, together. In building Himself into His people, they will also be built up into Him. In doing so, He will have His dwelling place in each city across the earth until, at long last, He gathers them all together and brings the fulfillment of it all to fruition with a new heaven and new earth, His House being the epicenter of it all. May we be a people whose heart beats for our Lord to have His House upon the earth. For only in His House will we truly find our home.