From "Essentials of Revival," by Diane S.
© 1977, 1997
The Lord purposed that through the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:8; 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12) and the construction of the temple (1 Kings 6:13, 14; 2 Chronicles 6:18) there might be an outward expression of His incessant desire to dwell with man. However, these were only temporary provisions. God does not dwell "in temples made with hands." (Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 7:48-50; 17:24, 25 cp. Jeremiah 7:4; Matthew 24:1, 2) "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" (1 Kings 8:27)
Primarily, it was in Jesus that the intent of God's heart found fulfillment. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or, tabernacled) among us..." (John 1:14) His name was called "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God With Us." (Matthew 1:23) The tabernacle of Moses was only a type of "the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man..." (Hebrews 8:2, 5; 9:25) "... Behold, the tabernacle (the abode) of God is with man, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people ..." (Revelation 21:3)
God's ultimate intention, however, has been to make His abode within the heart of every believer. (John 14:23) Jesus promised that the same Spirit that "dwelleth with you ... shall be in you." (John 14:17) His place of habitation is within His people: "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord." (Zechariah 2:10)
In Old Testament times the Spirit of God would "come and go" His Presence would enter, bless, and depart. (Numbers 9:15-23; 11:25; 2Chronicles 5:13-14) Yet the Lord longed for a place in which He might continually dwell, or make His abode. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation ... here will I dwell; for I have desired it." (Psalms 132:13, 14)
We pray earnestly for "the visitation of God" in our lives. It is a phrase used freely in reference to the manifestation of His Presence. However, God wants to do more than "visit" the lives of His people: He wants to move in! "Abide in Me," Jesus said, "and I in you." (John 15:4) To abide means "to continue, to dwell." (John 8:31; 15:9)
The test of genuine revival is in whether or not there have been changed lives and often this becomes evident only afterwards. If the Lord is "just visiting," then things will go back to usual when the glory leaves. But when an eternal work has taken place in those lives, the individual will no longer be content to return to his former state of affairs, as before. He has tasted of eternity and shall find satisfaction in nothing less. Revival does not come cheap; it will cost us our lives. But only as we lay our lives down can we know the fullness of His Life in us.
So we see that, although in Old Testament times God "inhabited the praises of Israel" (Psalms 22:3), under the New Covenant by His Spirit He seeks to inhabit us His people. "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28)
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God . . . In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:19-22) " . . . and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord Is There." (Ezekiel 48:35)
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