'the place or environment where an animal or plant naturally occurs.'
Man was created to be the HABITAT of Almighty God:
"At the far-in hidden center of man's being is a bush fitted to be the dwelling place
of the Triune God. There God planned to rest and glow with moral and spiritual fire."
We KNOW habitat is important...we spend millions creating habitats for animals in zoos. Appropriate habitat can actually make the difference between life and death. Imagine a habitat for pandas that contained no bamboo! In the wild, bamboo comprises 99% of a panda's daily diet! An inappropriate habitat would spell starvation.
In Chapter Seven of "They Drank from the River and Died in the Wilderness," Pastor Ravenhill reminds us that:
"God Himself has a 'natural habitat, a culture...a way of doing things that is different than ours. Unless we understand that we can offend Him and end up puzzled as to why our relationship with Him is not everything we would like it to be."
"WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE HABITATION OF GOD
IF WE WISH TO ENJOY THE FULLNESS OF HIS PRESENCE."
"Let them construct a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell among them."
Notice that it is GOD who takes the initiative. Moses didn't come along saying:
"You know Lord, it's about time You paid us a visit.
After all, we're supposed to be Your kids!"
No, God expresses His exacting demands:
"According to all that I am going to show you...
JUST SO you shall construct it."
A quick read through Exodus reveals, the Lord is concerned with EVERY DETAIL of His Dwelling Place!
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven...
immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven,
and One sitting on the throne."
The first thing John sees in Heaven is the Lord sitting His throne. There is no question about who is 'in charge.' Now pay attention:
"If God is going to reside in your house or in mine, if we are going to experience the fullness of His presence in the way we desire, then HE DEMANDS THE THRONE. It's just that simple. He demands the right to govern, the right to rule, the right to control our lives. When God comes to reside in us, He comes as Lord, Master and King."
"If God's presence is to be fully manifested in us,
then He must fully reside on the throne of our lives."
As my mother used to say when I was argumentative:
"NO 'BUTS' ABOUT IT, Anne Marie, NO 'BUTS' ABOUT IT!"
If God is going to feel at home in our hearts, if we want a lasting, abiding and growing relationship with Him, then we MUST give Him the throne.
"And the four living creatures...day and night they do not cease to say,
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty,
who was and who is and who is to come."
"If God is going to dwell in our lives on a permanent basis, if we are to enjoy the full richness of His presence, not only must we give Him the throne, but we also must provide Him with a HOLY PLACE...many of us expect Him to dwell with us when there is uncleanness, rebellion, lust, worldliness, or other unholy things in our lives. Part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to point out those things to us and clean them up.
OUR part is to OPEN UP AND LET HIM WORK. As long as we are cooperating and dealing with those things everything is fine. It's when we resist that we grieve the Holy Spirit. Persistent resistance will eventually quench the Spirit and He will withdraw. IF WE WANT GOD TO DWELL IN US, WE MUST PRESENT OURSELVES TO HIM AS CLEAN AND PURE."
"Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power;
for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will
they existed and were created." (Rev. 4:11)
Scripture exhorts us OVER AND OVER to give thanks to God. It is God's will that we give thanks in EVERYTHING! How faithful am I in obeying this??? I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of ingratitude. The early Christians, despite immense suffering and persecution, learned to LIVE AND BREATHE thankfulness.
"If God sniffed the air of your 'sanctuary', would He smell the sweet,
fragrant incense of praise and thanksgiving, or the stench of bitterness,
pride and ingratitude?" (p.89)
GOD INHABITS THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE!
"Thanksgiving and Praise are part of God's HABITAT. Genuine worship comes from a heart that is in absolute agreement with God, absolutely committed to God, and resolutely, radically obedient to God...God is looking for those who will abandon themselves COMPLETELY to Him, casting everything at His feet. These are the ones who will take their crowns--all their achievement, their prestige, their recognition, and their rewards--cast them down and WORSHIP HIM. These are the ones in whom God will choose to dwell in His fullness. We must come to the place of absolute surrender to God's will and His ways." (pp.91-93)
Soli Deo Gloria