Where He is, is Lovely

Photo overlay made with the Vrsly app. Thank you, Michele, for the lovely photo!

Session 3 – Where He is, is Lovely
Let’s start today with Psalm 84:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
    ever singing your praise! Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
    each one appears before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
    look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Well, that just kind of gets you going, right? What a happy psalm, a bright psalm, uplifting. It strikes me how many exclamation marks are in this Psalm. Although not in the original Hebrew, it was clear to many a translator that this Psalm screams exclamation point!
And why, because we have a God who gives us a dwelling place with Him. Since Eden, we were created to dwell with God. For the Hebrew people of the Old Testament, the tabernacle, and then the Temple was to them the place where they could without a doubt be in the presence of the One, True Living God. The Psalm expresses their longing for it. That one day with God is better than thousands anywhere else. That ours heart and flesh cry to be with the Living God.
Then. God sent Jesus. The Living God to dwell with His people on the Earth, to die on the cross, and rise again in New Life for our forgiveness and salvation. Then, God created churches and sanctuaries. We, like the Old Testament psalmist, long for fellowship and worship together, to draw together to study His Word and share His sweet communion.
But, just so we’re clear – where does God dwell? Not in buildings made by man. He dwells in people. This is something that is vital for us to remember. We can build pretty buildings and throw money at nice sanctuaries, but without the people, it is not God.
John 14:15-17 tells us:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
God is where people filled with His Spirit are. You are a living, breathing, walking dwelling place for the True and Living God. He fills Your heart and it overflows onto those around you. People longing for His presence will see it, not in a building, but in you.
This is one reason why people so rarely just walk in churches, when they are looking for the Lord. Somewhere deep in us, God knit an internal GPS system to seek Him through one another.
This means loveliness is in each of us and this is where others will find what is lovely. When we look at our neighbor, believer or unbeliever, we can see a place God’s image dwells, and God’s Spirit can fill. Who around you has a need, an empty place, ready for His Spirit to fill?

Our neighbor, His dwelling place. Precious to Him. Worth the effort.

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