People talk about encounters as “special visitations.” However, we live in a habitational relationship with God because He lives in us.
We will come and make Our abode with Him. – Jesus, John 14
I prefer to think of encounters as a significant Presence upgrade rather than a visitation. Indwelling Presence is permanent whereas we see in the Old Testament a visitation was often temporary.
You are a habitation of God. He is not going to come and visit you.
He already came, and he came to stay. And since he isn’t leaving, somewhere along the line we are going to have to get used to the fact that life is all about habitation. That we are, in fact, a habitation of God in the Spirit.
Our whole culture, our mindset, our encounter, our experiences, our perspectives are based on habitation, not visitation.
Because God is with us, we can go through life doing all things in Christ.
Jesus tell us this in John 15, “Abide in Me and I will abide in you. If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. Abide in My love.”
God foreshadows this truth in 2 Corinthians, “I will dwell in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
To abide means to stay in a given place of relationship and expectancy. We don’t abide casually. We abide with focus, passion, and a sense of expectancy.
As Romans 8:9-11 says, “The Spirit of God dwells in you, and He quickens you.” He speeds up your development. You must keep in mind that you are a temple of the living God, and the Spirit dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16).
To abide also means to occupy, to indwell, to live together intimately.
In habitation, God guards our hearts and our minds. He guards us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the treasure that has been released to you. Every one of us has treasure, and the Holy Spirit is teaching us to abide so that the treasure can be seen and can be spent on somebody else, as well as ourselves.
The law of life in Christ says you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). The law of life in the Spirit of Christ is it is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me.
In Jesus we are joyfully submitted to His values, which are the values and the principles of Heaven. We are under one rule—a government from a different dimension.
Whatever His life touches must bow to His authority, and we are getting used to the authority coming through us at any given moment.
When we say, “Come, Holy Spirit,” we are not inviting Him because He is missing. We are inviting Him to take control of our circumstances.
You don’t have visitation rights with Jesus! This is not prison. Instead, we are learning how to abide in Him, to embrace the vibrant partnership that emerges based on a lifestyle of continuous fellowship, and this is critical because it changes everything.
Your perspective changes everything about who you are, how you see things, how you engage with the Kingdom of darkness, how you engage with people, and how you engage with the situations that you are facing. It changes everything.
You’ll discover who God is for you, and what He wants to be for you now in these circumstances.
I am convinced, that many believers are still trying to experience the Kingdom from an Old Testament paradigm of visitation.
I have been in so many prayer meetings where people have said, “Oh that You would rend the Heavens and come down!” Well, I thought He already did that. I mean, He did it at the baptism of Jesus.
At the baptism of Jesus the heaven opens, the Holy Spirit descends in bodily form, and God says, “That’s My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!’ and you are in Him, so there is something about you that is pleasing to God. You are already in Christ, and you should enjoy that.
At the cross, in Matthew 27, when Jesus yielded up His Spirit, the whole veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom so that we could enter in with a sure and steadfast hope.
We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. Can anything separate us from the living God?
We enter that veil by a new and living way that is habitation and abiding. You are in a habitation culture. God is in you; He is not leaving.
You can’t have a habitation encounter with God at salvation and then downgrade it to a visitation culture in your experience.
Not only is that really bad hermeneutics, it’s just disgraceful. Beloved, that is not us! It is not who we are. We are a habitation of God. We are a ‘Yahoo!’ people! We have the joy of the Lord and the peace that passes all understanding. We are accepted in the Beloved. We have the mind of Christ.
Our only problem is we don’t quite realize how brilliant we are yet! But we are getting there.
We are on that road, and we are learning to grow up in all things in Jesus.
PS) Take a moment today to reflect on 1 John 2:24, where I talk about taking up residence in Jesus and God staying with us permanently. Ask God how you can better abide in Him, and write down what what you think it looks like to fully dwell in Jesus.