Did you ever think of God as a place? I mean, did you ever think of Him as your whole environment? The air you breathe? The bubble that moves with you wherever you go? Only this bubble is not the size of a phone booth and is not an idea, but is true in your normal dimension.
I have come from having no use for Psalm 27 to putting it with my favorites:
"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple" (verse 4).
I didn't care for it because I thought the words referred to the untouchable future-a wish for the new heavens and new earth. Or maybe the untouchable past-David's pining to be in the temple that only his son Solomon would build. But no, the verses are mine. The reality is mine. I dwell in the house of the Lord. We converse, the Lord and I. The trees and fields where I take my morning walks are brimming with His nearness and favor and speech. They all do His bidding and worship Him.
The psalmist was jealous of that little sparrow:
"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself . . . at your altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King and my God" (Psalm 84:3).
Come on, Lord. I am more valuable than a sparrow; if it gets to be near You, why shouldn't I?
"My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God" (Psalm 84:2)
Ah, "the living God." I once looked up all the places where the Bible says He is the living God. I needed to reassure myself, to see it in print, that He is still as alive as He was for David. He was David's "place," his refuge from the storm.
Being "in Christ" was once an abstract doctrine. No more. It is a location. And when I obey His commands, those are doorways that bring me deeper into Him. The deeper into Him, the greater the experience of peace and joy. "Abide in me," He says, and I had thought it was a metaphor, when all along it was a mystery.
I have come to relish the awareness that at all times I am "in Him." I wake up "in Him," I walk around "in Him," I do my chores "in Him," I suffer "in Him," so it's OK. If someone wishes me harm, or has lied about me, I am relaxed because I know I am protected as long as I am "in Him." In the end, all will be put to rights.
I love the idea of a "covering." I heard a southern Christian man speak of being a "covering" for his wife. I find that a most beautiful imagery. And it is a "place" imagery, of course. It's like the song: "O the deep, deep love of Jesus. Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free. Rolling like a mighty ocean in its fullness over me. Underneath me, all around me, is the current of his love. . . ."
If it isn't too risqué, I would like to suggest that the act of intimacy between husband and wife is a "place" imagery, a picture of the deep truth that God abides in us and we in Him. I am sure I am not off the mark since God Himself says we are married to him (Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:32).
To know "what is the breadth and length and height and depth" of God, is that not to know God like you know a place? Is it not a picture of a man feeling his way around a room that just keeps getting larger and larger and larger? God is so much bigger on the inside than He looks to people from the outside.
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