Where Does God Live?
Humanity has always searched for the secret of life, the holy grail, the source of wisdom — the throne of God. We tell captivating stories about the search. We make blockbuster movies about it. The heart looks desperately for ultimate reality; where God lives.
We all need a god to trust. It is part of our being. We are trusting someone or something at all times. Some are looking to the mysteries of magic. Others take pilgrimages to the past. Still others are enamored with the fantasies of the future. The search is universal in its practice.
Well, there is some hope. The prophet Isaiah records the words of God:
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite…”
Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)
It seems that God has two addresses. He lives beyond time and space, and He lives with those who know they need Him.
The High and Holy Place
First, let’s examine the high and holy place. It doesn’t mean that God delights to distance Himself from us. It means that He is by nature in another category from us. He is not the projection of our own imaginations. He is not humanity in a better state. He is distinct. He is creator, rather than creature. He is the source of life, rather than the recipient. He gives without diminishing His resources. He loves without condition. He is beyond time, and He transcends space.
Humankind did not make Him in our image. We are made in His. He is beyond the capacity of man’s imagination; deeper than the speculation of the wise man; better than the best of all things. He is so high that He must descend to our level of cognition. He is so omniscient He must reveal for us to know him. He is just in every decision and merciful in every act.
With the Low and Contrite
Yet, He so wants us to know and enjoy Him that He became a human like us so we could relate. We can’t and don’t need to ascend to the heavens to find Him. We are not required to deny our humanity to please Him. He has come to us — to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He has done the work necessary for our reconciliation, and then He has quickened our spirit to know both our need and His provision.
He can be found with the person who has a contrite heart. That is the one who has been awakened to the perversion of his own heart. He or she has paused in judgment of the wickedness of others to confront the potential of evil in their own heart. The evil of Adolph Hitler is the same evil that lies in the human heart. Unless it is overcome by the power of the cross, it will manifest in ways that bring embarrassment and destruction. The contrite know this.
They also know that God loves to revive the lowly. Only He can give hope to helpless slaves of sin. He can be trusted. He has never failed to keep His promise. He is good and can’t do bad!
The search reaches its goal when we realize that God has found us.