Does the Spirit of God reside in you?
At the time of Moses, God would reside in the Tent of Meeting. (Exodus 33:7-11) Later, the Israelites built a temple for him in Jerusalem. In Psalm 24, we read, “Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:9-10)
The psalmist was declaring that the gates of the city be opened so that the people could experience God’s visitation and presence. A millennium later, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21, 23) He would also declare that the “the Kingdom [of God] is within you.” (Luke 17:21) St. Paul would add, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16)
God’s desire is not to reside in a Temple of bricks and mortar, but in the temple of our hearts.
Beverly who is an oncology nurse in Gilroy, California, says to her patients as she begins an IV, “Let’s pray that this IV will be painless.” At some point she will ask her patients if she can pray with them. They always say okay. At a time when medical care can become quite impersonal, Beverly says, “We get very close to many of our patients. I went to Pat’s house to help her out before she died. We’ll go to the hospital and pray with patients, even in a coma. People tell me, ‘You shouldn’t get so close to your patients,’ but I tell them that ‘this is my God job.’”
Beverly is bringing God’s presence to the patients that come to her clinic. She cares for them; she intercedes for them; as a Gospel singer and concert violinist, she sings and plays for them – she loves them just as Jesus would love them if he were physically present. He is present to them through Beverly. Read more in Hope for the Workplace – Christ in You, p. 37, www.zacchaeuspublications.com.
When we open the gates of our heart to his presence, God shares his own Holy Spirit with us. The Spirit of God comes to dwell in us and empower us to do the same things that Jesus did and even greater things. God’s love becomes our love, his strength becomes our strength and his word becomes our word – all for the purpose of bringing about his Kingdom through us to the people and circumstances of our lives.
Lift up the gates of my heart, O Lord that the love and mercy of your presence may be manifest to all whom you place in my path – my wife and family, friends, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, customers, suppliers and strangers.