John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
He dwelt with us in Eden:
Genesis 3:8 - And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day
When Jacob first met God, he immediately praised him for temporarily dwelling near:
Genesis 28:10–17 - Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel [House of God].”
He dwelt among the people in the Temple:
Exodus 25:8 - And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
Jesus himself was given a title of dwelling, as prophesied by the angel to Joseph and in Isaiah 7:14:
Matthew 1:23 - “and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
When Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured while he talked with Moses and Elijah, Peter’s first instinct was that the people of God would dwell there:
Matthew 17:4 - And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
When Jesus commissioned the disciples, he promised to dwell with them:
Matthew 28:20 - And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
And so he dwells with his followers through the Spirit!
2 Timothy 1:14 - By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Someday we will be with him again. And we see marriage language to describe the day:
Revelation 21:1–3 - Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
May we not be adulterous followers, chasing after everything but him:
James 4:4 (MSG) - You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way.
James 4:5 - Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
So if dwelling with God is what it truly means for Christ to return - a return that will return us to the dwelling presence of Eden - then may we have a heart that can truly, increasingly, longingly say, from the heart, without the pretense of religiosity or Christianese:
Revelation 22:20 - Come, Lord Jesus!
May we live upright lives now that match our upright lives in the new Jerusalem:
Psalm 37:27 - Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
May the Spirit dwelling in us do it! As we wait on Jesus to appear, may we also wait on him every day to answer our prayers of sin killing and holiness bringing.