Acts 7:47-49 HOW TO PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Intro: Ill. God is not an absentee landlord! He doesnt save us and
then leave us here to do the best we can. Many feel that God does just
that! He saves us and then He shoves us out into the world. They think
that maybe He looks in on us occasionally to see how were doing.
That just isnt so! There are two passages in the New Testament that
speak about the whereabouts of God - Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5. These remind
us that God is ever with his children. We are never out of His presence. I
want to speak about this matter of Gods presence and attempt to
clear up any confusion that there might be in this matter.
I would like to pose a question to you this morning. Where does God
live? Well, some would answer The Church, we do call the
church The House Of God, but God doesnt have His address
at the church. David tells us in Psalm 139:7-12 that God is everywhere all
at once. Yet, God does have a house. In fact, He has possessed several
throughout the ages. Today, I want to help you to practice the presence of
God. I want every one of us to be able to know and enjoy this sweet,
abiding presence minute by minute as we travel through life.
To be able to practice His presence, or live in the reality of it, you
must first know where He is. Allow me to share with you this truth: God
has made and used four different houses. How each one fits into Gods
plan will help us to be able to experience the joy of His awesome
I. GODS PRIMARY HOUSE
A. The first place God chose to dwell was in Adam.
B. The Design - Adam was a three-part house. He was made in the
Almighty God - Gen. 1:26. He reflected the triune nature of God - 1
Thes. 5:23. Ill. Gen. 2:7 - Adam was Gods primary design. (Ill. Body,
Soul, Spirit - The body allows access to the physical world. The soul
allows access to the emotional world. The Spirit allows access to the
spiritual world. The spirit is what separates man from the animals. It
makes us unique because the spirit can be indwelled by God and it is the
spirit where we have the capacity to worship God.
C. The Desecration - Ill. Adams sin - Gen. 3. When Adam sinned,
he died -
not physically, but spiritually! Adams sin defiled the house and God
moved out! God will not abide in a dirty house.
D. The Desolation - After Adam sinned and God moved out, Adams
became desolate. In other words, the fact of his death became evident -
He was separated from God! He began to suffer under the curse. When his
spirit died, (Death is literally separation!), his soul took over. Man,
from that day to this has lived life as he pleases - Ill The natural man!
The natural man is lead by his soul, because apart from God, the spirit of
man is dead!
Literally, the house was left desolate! (Ill. A live Christmas tree -
When the tree is cut, it is dead. It may retain the look of life for a
while, but as sure as a few week have passed, the truth of its death will
be evident.) Ill. The same is true of the human house that is empty of
E. The Destruction - Eventually, Adam died physically as well -
Gen. 5:5. The
house he lived in was destroyed and returned to the elements from which
it came - Gen. 3:19. That same end awaits every one of us here today!
(Ill. Death is stalking! Are you prepared?)
F. Ill. This is a true picture of everyone who is without God!
II. GODS PATTERN HOUSE
(Ill. This is the Temple. It served as a visible pattern for mankind, so
that men could see the type of dwelling God would use.)
A. The Design - This house was made of three rooms. The Outer
Inner Court and the Innermost Court. In its design, it corresponds to
each of us. (Ill. The Outer Court - The human body - The place of
sacrifice - Rom. 12:1-2) (Ill. The Inner Court - The human soul - The
place of gathering and hearing of the Word - The place of reason and
understanding) (The Innermost Court - The place where the priest met with
God - The place of worship and personal communion with God.)
B. The Desecration - Through idolatry and sin Israel desecrated
and defiled the
Temple. Therefore, God moved out! - Ill. Matt. 21:13.
C. The Desolation - Ill. Matt. 23:38 - Notice your not Gods The
still carried out all the ancient rituals, but God was gone! Sadly, they
didnt even notice! (Ill. Many churches are in the same situation right
now. All the ritual, none of the glory! - Ill. 1 Sam. 4:21 - Ichabod!)
D. The Destruction - Matt. 24:1-2 - The Temple was destroyed in
because it was unfit to be inhabited by God. He didnt need it any
III. GODS PERFECT HOUSE
(Ill. Jesus was Gods perfect house!)
A. The Design - John 1:1; 14 (Ill. Jesus called His own body a
Temple - John
2:19. His House was indwelled by the Spirit - Matt. 3:16-17. In fact, He
was God incarnate! This Temple was designed to be the place of the perfect
B. The Desecration - This Temple was desecrated as no other has
Ill. Literally all the sins of humanity were placed on Him - Isa. 53:6;
2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24! The creature was literally able to desecrate the
perfect Temple of the Creator!
C. The Desolation - When Christ became sin on Calvary, He was
by the Father - Rom. 8:32; Matt. 27:46. The darling Son of God became
the object of the Fathers loathing and God judged the Son in our place.
Jesus was left desolate, He died alone! (Ill. This is one of the great
mysteries of the ages - That God could turn His back on Himself.)
D. The Destruction - Like the first Adam, the second Adam,
destroyed. Ill. Isa. 53:10. Jesus died to take away the penalty of our
sins. That perfect house, like all the previous ones was destroyed! (Ill.
All He suffered for us!)
IV. GODS PERMANENT HOUSE
(Ill. Here is where the pattern changes, God has stopped moving! He has
taken up residence in a permanent dwelling. That dwelling is you!)
A. The Design - John 14:16 - The believer has been reconstructed
and made a
fit dwelling for Almighty God. (Ill. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 - 2 words translated
Temple in NT - 1). Ieron - The entire temple precinct, the temple mount.
2.) Naos - The Holy place, the sacred dwelling place of God! The Christian
is literally a living, breathing Temple of Almighty God! When you get
saved, God moves in!
B. The Desecration - This house cannot be desecrated! (Ill.
Sealed - The holy
area has been sealed off - Nothing gets in or out!) But, what about sin?
When you trust Christ, ALL sin is removed - Past, Present and Future!
(Ill. Col. 2:13-14!) Sin is no longer credited to us! Rather, we enjoy
imputed righteousness - Rom. 4:22-24!
C. The Desolation - This house can never be left desolate! God
Ill. John 14:16; 2 Tim. 2:13. The true believer is Gods house and will
be forever! Eternally saved and eternally sealed - Eph. 4:30!
D. The Destruction - This house can never be destroyed. God has
eternal life through Jesus Christ - John 10:28; Rom. 5:9. This doesnt
mean that He wont clean house every now and then - Rev. 3:19. But, when He
does, He wont move out! The Christian need never fear Hell - John 5:24!
V. A FEW LESSONS TO CONSIDER
A. Salvation - Salvation isnt about getting man into Heaven, it
is about getting
God into man. It is about making dead men live. It is about living for
God and doing His will as opposed to the will of the world and of the
B. Security - God has stopped moving! I know I am eternally
because He has promised to stay forever - Heb. 13:5. Adam fell and God
moved out! He has moved into us to stay!
C. Sanctification - When Adam sinned, he died immediately in the
progressively in the soul and ultimately in the body. We are justified
at the instant of salvation by the Spirit, sanctified progressively in the
soul, and glorified ultimately in the body. Ill. Phil. 1:6 - God isnt
finished with you yet. We arent perfect, but He likes a fixer upper! He is
rebuilding, remaking, remodeling into the image of Jesus.
D. Spirituality - God lives in you! Dont just dress up on Sunday
to meet Him in church. He is with you all the time, everywhere you go.
Therefore, every action in life should reflect this truth. You are Gods
temple and because of this truth, every day is a holy day, every place is
a holy place!
E. Service - Do not insult God by saying that He cannot use you.
He lives in
you and as you continually yield to Him, and constantly depend on Him,
He will use you, His temple, for His glory!
Conc: What kind of shape is Gods house in today? Today would be a good
day to begin a home improvement project. Are you willing to be all that
God wants you to be?
Sermon By Alan Carr