Dwelling in the Presence

Genesis 3: 8

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

As I read through the Bible one thing keeps being impressed on me and that is that God has always longed for close, personal fellowship with us. That idea begins with today’s passage. Imagine living in the Garden of Eden and in the evening God comes to walk along the garden path with you. Doesn’t that sound idyllic? Well, God’s original intention for the earth was for it to be a perfect garden where we could enjoy His company. Unfortunately, we spoiled the garden.

All through the Bible you see God return to this idea of living with His people. In 1 Kings 6: 13 we witness God expressing this very idea saying, “I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” When he saved the people from their captivity in Egypt He went along with them, leading them day and night by His presence. He was in the cloud. He was in the fire. He was their rear guard as well as their guiding light. Later He told Moses to “let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25: 8). Then He gave them the instructions for building the Ark of the Covenant. And His presence came and rested in the Ark and with the people.

Time marches on and King David sits on the throne. Finally there is peace in the land and David has a desire in his heart to build a temple for God but God forbids David from building the temple because he, being a man of war, has too much blood on his hands. So, his son, Solomon builds the temple. In 1 Kings 8 we read about the dedication of the temple. These interesting words appear in verse 10: “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.” Again God came to live among His people.

This recurrent theme does not end with the Old Testament saints, however, nor with the Israelites because we have now become the temple of the Most High. “For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians 6: 16).

God has not changed. His long held desire has been to live with His kids. Ever since the Garden of Eden God has longed to be in close proximity with us both physically and emotionally. He has made us His temple so that He can be with us everywhere we go. And again, as in 1 Kings 8, He wants to fill His temple with His presence.

Today He wants to walk in the cool of the day with you. He longs to chat with you and hear what is on your heart. He deeply desires fellowship with you. This revelation will prevent you from ever being lonely again. You have a close and abiding friend and He is the Lord of creation. So, let us all stop thinking of God as high and removed. Don’t imagine Him far away in the cosmos. He is in the room with you right now. He is as close as your next breath. Begin to talk with Him as your best friend. It will change your life.