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Dwelling with God
by Pastor Genell Knisley, Grassland Church of the Nazarene
God’s ways, His thoughts and all about Him are higher than ours.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
God never expected us to be able to get to the place of His Throne on our own. His plan from the beginning was to join us.
“My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Ezekiel 37:27.
Yet, we often try hard to be lofty so we can enter into God’s presence.
“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared: ‘Go down again – I dwell among the people,’” John Henry Newman said.
God knew humankind would fall to temptation and sin. He knew we would be depraved and hopeless without His help. He had a plan from the beginning to send us His Son, Jesus. In prophecies about Jesus, He is called Emmanuel which literally means “God with us.” God knew we would never be able to understand or participate with Him without help. Therefore, He sent Jesus to show us the way! God wants us to accept His invitation to be in an active, interactive relationship with Him. In it, we will be forgiven, cleansed, molded and made holy. He wants to dwell with us!
The amazing thing about the Creator of the Universe is that He never forces anyone to join Him in life. He created each one with the freedom to choose. God wants us all to want to! If we choose to live our lives with Him, He works in us, through us and with us. He does things in us that will amaze and astound us as well as those around us. God does provide and will meet us in what we call those “mountain top experiences.”
Mostly though, He will willingly join us here in our lives; and especially join us in the valleys of our existence. We all have valley times, and He is there with us through them.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, … You are with me.” Psalm 23:4.
He gives us proof in those times. There is never a shadow with light. Jesus is The Light of the World. He is with us through His Spirit! God never leaves us destitute in the valleys; it is in the “valley times” that we grow and mature the most!
“You, O LORD, are a Shield about me, my glory, and the Lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3
So, if you find yourself in the valley, do not give in to discouragement. Instead look to the One who will not just “get you through it,” but will dwell with you and bring you to the other side as a Victor in Christ Jesus!