For this is what the high and exalted One says he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place, (1)
But also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, (2)
to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (3)
“Transcendent” means that God is not like us; He is perfectly Holy, righteous and above creation. “Immanent” means that God has manifested Himself (fully in Jesus Christ, Col 2:9) in the world and He has made us His habitation through the Spirit. This verse gives us a vivid yet contrasting picture of God’s habitation. He wants us to understand Him, the places and conditions for such habitation so that we are not undermining any element of this reality. Sometimes we live as if God is very far away, and sometime we consider Him as our WhatsApp friend, both ofwhich undermine who God truly is. We need a dose of divine balance to see Him as He truly is.
In the first half of the verse (1), we see God revealing paradigms of his character and his habitation, such as “high and exalted”, “lives forever”, “name is Holy”, and “live in a high and holy place”. In the middle of the verse (2), God reveals the character of the person that He will be with, and also reveals the purpose of His habitation. The two conditions that God mentions of the person who He will be with: first, “contrite” (repentant), and second, “lowly (humble) in spirit”. Then the last part of the verse (3) talks about the purpose for which God embraces such people, to “revive.”
Man’s natural mind is to rebel against God and make himself the god, so we create our own false gods. But God, who is kind, has revealed Himself and even lifts us up to be able to see Him as He truly is. How do we then experience such a reality that radically changed many prophets’ and disciples’ lives (to name a few like Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and countless saints after them)? The answer is in the two postures mentioned, repentance and humility. Without these two, it is impossible to see Him as He truly is. We have probably heard about these postures a lot at church, sermons, and other such gatherings, yet we don’t sense the “revival” in our hearts, the “fire in my bones” feeling, or the “woe unto me if I preach not the gospel” syndrome. It should drive us to our knees to deeply examine ourselves and seek diligently, “How can these postures become a reality for me personally that I might see this great God as He truly is?”
If we are not able to see Him as He is, God is not to be blamed, because we can see in the verse that He is willing. The question really is are we willing? We need to then see if the opposites of these required postures are true in our lives. Are we unrepentant in areas of our lives? Are we proud? Some practical questions to help us unravel these wrong postures:
- Do we love God by setting apart time to read and meditate His word?
- Do we love, obey and serve God in our minds and our spirits?
- Do we love the fellowship of God’s children and are real with our fellow-believers?
- Do we allow the Lord to lead our schedule, or do we ask Him and His people to adjust to our schedule?
- Do we want to see Him as He really is?
If you are serious with these questions, make time and find a quiet place, get on your knees and ask the Lord, “Lord I want to truly see you as you truly are, reveal yourself to me through your word, reveal my sins to me and please give me the courage to repent and humble myself?” Philippians chapter 2 will be a good place to start reading to understand our Master’s humility. Make an effort to talk to someone in the church to help you on this journey, get plugged in and get away from ‘me-island’. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17-18.