God's Dwelling Place

Spiritual Growth Resources

God's Dwelling Place

We currently live in a society where having a dwelling can be a challenge. A place we call home. An address where we get our mail.  A place where our clothes are in a closet. A place where we can open the refrigerator without having to ask permission. Ultimately, it's a place where you are comfortable, where you can be yourself.

We can see as we drive around town that dwellings can be permanent structures, or temporary outdoor shelters. Many people are not as fortunate as we are to have a dwelling.

The Old Testament writers refer to heaven as God's "dwelling place." What about our dwelling place? Deuteronomy 33:27 says that God is our dwelling place. Not a place, but God himself. The Song of Moses in Psalms 90 starts my saying, "Lord, you have been our dwelling place..."

In addition to that, God set up a literal, physical dwelling place on earth where He could meet with his people."Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst." (Exodus 25:8). It has been God's desire to be close to us, his people. So, the dwelling is a place where we can be close to God and to each other and ultimately never be separated.


Read Exodus 29:45; Revelation 21:3; Ezekiel 37:26-27
  1. Consider what the implications are of having God so close to us. What would it be like to live with God in the same house?
    • Maybe too close.
    • It would be awesome to have God so close all the time.
    • I would have to change some things around the house.
    • I would be more inspired to live a more spiritual life.
    • Other.
  2. We don't always get to choose who "dwells" with us, but how have you chosen to allow God to dwell with you?
    • Acknowledging that having God in my life is better than not having him in my life.
    • My daily decisions are primarily based on God's word.
    • I take time to "be alone with God."
    • Other.
  3. People come in go, even in our families. Think about dwelling with God for eternity
    • I cannot fathom what eternity with God may be like.
    • I have all the time I need to ask questions and learn from God.
    • This gives everyone the time they need with God one-on-one.
    • Other.
  4. When you come into God's sanctuary, do you get a sense of his presence? 
    • There's something special about entering a space dedicated for worship.
    • For me, the sanctuary is not just the space "at church," but wherever I meet with God.
    • Being with God's people also gives me a sense of God's presence.
    • Other.
  5. Through the biblical writers, God says, "I will be their God, and they shall be my people." What do you think that means? Ezekiel 27:26-27.
    • People still don't see God as their God and they don't see themselves as belonging to God.
    • It's a promise God makes to us.
    • Other.
  6. People seem to be an attracted to where God dwells, why do you think that is? Zech 2:10-11.
    • Jesus gives us a good example of this. Wherever Jesus was, people wanted to be nearby.
    • Genuine love is always attractive.
    • We are drawn to something greater than ourselves.
    • Other.
  7. Another word for God dwelling in us, is God abiding in us (1 John 4:15). Do you consider abiding and dwelling any different?
    1. Sometimes a dwelling place refers is a physical structure and sometimes it refers to God himself. 
    2. Dwelling gives a sense of a living place.
    3. Abide gives a sense of staying.
    4. Other.
  8. How does God dwell in our hearts? Ephesians 3:17
    1. Through faith.
    2. The deeper our spiritual roots, the deeper our connection with God.
    3. Our spiritual roots are based on love.
    4. Other.
  9. In John 15:4-11 Jesus gives the illustration of the vine and the branches. Read through this passage to see how we abide with Christ.
    • In order to be fruit we must stay connected (abide) to the branch.
    • Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
    • Separated from Christ we will dry up and spiritually die.
    • Other.


The "sanctuary message" is the doctrine or teaching that uses the Sanctuary or Tabernacle as a model of how God deals with the sin problem.  The priests daily and yearly work symbolizes Jesus' intercession for us. One day that intercession will finish and Jesus will return to earth (Second Coming). According to the historical calendar we are living in the last phase of that intercession - the Day of Atonement. On this day the priest enters the Most Holy Place. This can only happen once a year (usually falls in the fall). All of the people's sins that have been confessed are symbolically still in the sanctuary and the priest goes into this last room in the sanctuary to "cleanse it." Symbolically, priest goes through a ritual to clean the Most Holy Place of sin. When the priest comes out "alive" there's a great celebration.

How does "message" help us in our daily living? It's a good question. One that many have struggled to understand.  Let's look at it from a purely spiritual position. 
  1. Getting rid of sin is 100% God's job.
  2. Sin is so serious that getting rid of it is a process.
  3. There is a time when this process will be complete, but it's not based on what we do, but on what God does.
  4. My daily confession matters.
  5. Confession requires a sacrifice.

If we could just see the seriousness of sin like God sees it we would hate it more.

Growing or maturing is the process of a lifetime. In this lifetime, we learn what matters and what matters less. Some people can live long lives, and what matters hasn't changed much. At the same time, others allow life experiences coupled with God's word to shape their worldview and daily living, thus allowing God to come into our lives to dwell and abide in us in a more significant measure.

Just like dealing with sin is a process, our growth is a process. As much as we would like to become as spiritual as someone else, we need to allow God to work in us as he reveals himself to us. Humans grow in stature for about 20 years. When kids we can't wait to "grow up." In the spiritual realm, we'd like to grow up fast too. Starting with the simple basics of confession, repentance on a daily basis. Taking time in the Word and in prayer. As you do this you will open more of yourself to God as he dwells more in more in your life. As you grow, he abides.  Do not let frustration set in when you feel like your spiritual growth is stunted. Instead, ask God to reveal areas in your life where you have overlooked in the growth process. 


As you GO throughout your daily lives, consider what the GROW section of this study says. Sharing the concepts of growth with someone else can bring hope and calm people's fears about their spirituality.
Ultimately God wants to dwell with us and God has a plan to see that we are united with him forever.

Think of someone who wants to live with you so much that he builds you a house and sacrifices himself in order to see to it that we can spend eternity together.

In the meantime, God sends his Spirit to empower us to live until we can be together again.

Scripture Memorization

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 
Revelation 21:2

Songs of Praise & Worship

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