by Dr. Gary M Barker

The Bible clearly records the reality that the only true God, Jehovah, has always desired to have a close and intimate relationship with the human beings that He created. God created Adam and Eve for the purpose of having fellowship with them. Man was created in God’s image, which involved man’s ability to have intellect, emotion, and will. These three qualities constitute the make-up of all persons.

Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org.

God created human persons so that He could be with them and have a personal relationship with them. God has been a personal friend of the main historical characters in the Bible: Adam, Cain, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, and his descendants. God made a special covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) that promised Abraham that He would make a great nation out of his descendants that would last forever. This promise was passed onto Isaac and Jacob and their descendants.

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The nation grew to be very large under the care of Joseph who was the prime minister in Egypt. Later, under the leadership of Moses, the nation was delivered from Egyptian slavery and was led by Moses and Joshua to inherit the promised land of Canaan. Up until this time, Jehovah God had never lived with man on earth.

However, this changed with receiving the book of Exodus. God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle that God would live in and thus God revealed that He desired to dwell among His people (Exodus 25:1-31:18). Because God was holy and the nation of Israel was sinful, God could dwell among His people because thru the institution of animal sacrifices the sins of the people could be atoned for and forgiven (Leviticus 1:1-6:7). The Lord lived in the tabernacle for five hundred years until God didn’t dwell with man on earth again until the incarnation of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:1-11). The Lord left this temple in the time of Ezekiel (592 B.C.) and returned to heaven because of the sins of Israel. Jesus lived on the earth with people for 33 years before He died, rose again, and returned to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-5, Acts 1:9-11).

Today and until Jesus returns to earth to set up his 1000 year reign, All three persons of the Godhead: Father: Ephesians 4:6; Son: Colossians 1:26-27, Galatians 2:20; Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 indwell or live in the physical body of every believer. What a glorious provision of salvation. God is present with us every day in order to fellowship with us, love us, and care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus promised to always be with us and never forsake us (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6). We are the temple of the living God as believers and just as God said: “I will DWELL in them and walk among them”: (2 Corinthians 6:16).

Lessons to be Learned.

  1. God has ALWAYS desired to live with His people and fellowship with them.
  2. By FAITH, rely on God’s presence and power as a believer to handle life’s trials.

Thought: “ If you don’t FEEL CLOSE to God, Guess who moved?” “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”: James 4:8.