Did you know that we as New Testament believers are God’s dwelling place? In the New Testament, God does not desire to dwell in a physical building but to dwell in man. In the Old Testament God dwelt in the tabernacle and temple, but they were merely symbols pointing to God’s desire to have man as His dwelling place. Isaiah 66:1-2 says,
“Thus says Jehovah, Heaven is My throne, And the earth the footstool for my feet. Where then is the house that you will build for Me, And where is the place of My rest? For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being, declares Jehovah. But to this kind of man will I look, to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
God did not consider the heaven, the earth, nor even the tabernacle and the temple built for Him as His place of rest. In this verse He unveils His true intention, which is that He seeks man to be His place of rest. Apart from man, God is homeless. As His dwelling place, we need to be of a condition that is fit for His dwelling.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul says,
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
The temple referred to in the verse is not an ordinary building but a spiritual house in which both God and the believers can dwell. He wants to have a group of people into whom He can enter and in whom He can find rest.
For this God needs to have a dwelling place not just in our spirit but also in our hearts. Ephesians 3:17 says,
“That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith…”
Through regeneration Christ came in to our spirit. Henceforth, we should allow Him to spread into every part of our heart, which is composed of our mind, emotion, will, and conscience. We should not merely allow Him to make home in one compartment of our heart, but allow Him to gain it entirely. Through His making His home in our heart He will have the way to occupy our entire being, and we will grow in His life and be built up with the other believers. 1 Peter 2:5 says,
“You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Through regeneration we each became precious living stones for God’s building. Now these stones need to be built up to become God’s dwelling place.
But how can we be built together into one corporate dwelling place? Ephesians 2:22 says,
“In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.”
God’s habitation is in our spirit. Therefore anytime we exercise our spirit, either by coming to His word, calling on His name, praying, praising, or singing hymns together, we are being built up. This is how we can fulfill God’s purpose and satisfy His desire of gaining His spiritual house!