Where Does God Live

Does He abide in structures that men have built for Him? Stephen answered this question, “No,” saying, “Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands…” (Acts 7:48) There is nothing about a physical structure, nice as it may be, that entices God to want to live there. He already lives in a pretty nice place. “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me?” (Isaiah 66:1)

Regardless of this – “Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD.” He decided to attempt this huge undertaking even though he knew that God may not choose to live there. “But who is able to build him an house,” Solomon queried, “seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him?” (2 Chronicles 2:1, 6)

God didn’t really need a place to live. He already had a truly magnificent dwelling place. “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:21-22)

Not only does He inhabit all of space and more. Consider this: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity…” (Isaiah 57:15) There is no time zone that can hem Him in; not the Eastern Time zone, not the Central Time zone… In fact, time itself is too small for Him. 2012 can’t contain Him. The entire 21st century can’t keep Him corralled. Our God is far too great to be fenced in by time. He dwells in eternity!

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Solomon seemed to understand that there was nothing about any physical structure he could erect that would appeal to the Creator of this magnificent universe – but still he wanted to attempt it.

When the temple was at last completed, Solomon talked to the Lord, “I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever… But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? (2 Chronicles 6:2, 18)

Solomon knew that if he truly wanted God to dwell in the house he had built for Him, he would have to do something to entice Him, something to lure Him. He would have to do something that would make the Lord want to live there. So he said, “Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night,… to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.” (2 Chronicles 6:19-20) In essence, Solomon was saying, “Let my prayers be an enticement to you, Lord. I know that you’re a merciful God whose compassion is somehow linked to our prayers. So – since there’s nothing about this facility itself that would make you want to dwell here – may my earnest prayers then persuade you.”

God’s response to Solomon’s humble prayer shows that He liked it and that He was attracted by it. “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” (2 Chronicles 7:1) That was God’s immediate response. Later that night He further responded, “And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. (2 Chronicles 7:12-16)

Where does God live? “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…” (Isaiah 57:15

God is irresistibly drawn to the humble! “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? …but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1-2)

One reason the Lord is so drawn by humility is because of His own nature. “Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill…” (Psalm 113:5-7)

The humble Spirit of God goes way beyond His willingness to help us from a safe distance. Matthew 1:23 tells us, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” The God of creation so humbled Himself as to become a man! The Creator became the created! This is perhaps the most humble act ever. I say “perhaps” because it may well have been surpassed by what He did after He became a man. He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) Jesus, in His human aspect, was the most humble man who ever lived!

Where does God live? “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…” (Isaiah 57:15)

Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International. He is Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.

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