Resting place as the word suggests it’s a place where you can rest when you need to rest. It could be your home, a couch, a nearby park or anything and anywhere you may find peace of mind, privacy. Some often misinterpret a resting place as a hiding place, but it’s not true, for a hiding place is where you hide from what you fear can be a resting place but a resting place can always not be a hiding place.
Some of you might think what am I talking about. Well, when we read Psalms 91:1,2 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV)” we see hiding place. Where as in Mathew 11 we see the resting place. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV). In throughout the scripture we find God as our ultimate hiding place and resting place. But today I want to speak about us being a resting place for God!
In Isaiah 64 we see a very powerful prayer that Isaiah say before God-“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! (Isaiah 64:1 NIV).” But, we don’t see this prayer being answered during his lifetime, however, this prayer got answered during the lifetime of Jesus when He went to take baptism under John the Baptist. “Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10 NIV).” In this passage we see the heaven tore open when Holy Spirit came down into the earth. While it remains a big thing and fulfillment of a prophetic prayer what it is of more importance is the next part what Holy Spirit did upon coming down from heaven, Holy Spirit rested/ remained upon Jesus, “Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32-34 NIV).”
It clearly says from Mark 1:10 and John 1:32-34 that as Jesus was coming out of water Holy Spirit descended upon him as a dove and rested upon him. Now think about this- you are walking down a road and suddenly out of nowhere a dove came down and sat on your shoulder. If you want the dove to rest on your shoulder how careful will you be in putting your next step? You will have the thought of dove sitting on your shoulder the entire time and be as gentle and careful as possible to make the dove comfortable to rest upon your shoulder. Similarly, when you accepted Jesus in your life as Lord and Saviour, Jesus has forgiven your sins and send Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who accepted Jesus. When you accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour of life, you have crucified your life and you are born again as a new being in Jesus Christ for His will and purpose in life. And to accomplish it Jesus has filled our hearts with His Spirit in us as he promised us. “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me, because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:7-15 NIV)”
Now tell me how careful should we (those who accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour by believing in heart and proclaiming by word and born again) be in our daily life in our words, thoughts, actions, deeds, emotions and everything else? As how extreme care you give for the dove to remain on you, the same extreme care you need to give for Holy Spirit to remain on you!
What are the things that hurt Holy Spirit? One is not listening to the voice of Holy Spirit that speaks to you and also talking against Holy Spirit and the other one is restricting the movement of Holy Spirit. It’s like the handrails of a narrow bridge. One says always listen and obey while the other say do not restrict the work. If you lose either of it, you will fall down. The spirit of God is not only given for your own benefit to walk in truth and stay away from sin, but also it’s been poured upon you for God to do His work upon others through us. This is why Jesus said to his 12 disciples as He send them to the neighboring villages in Mathew 10- Freely you have received; freely give. Since you didn’t pay anything for the Holy Spirit to come in you same way give out to others for their deliverance in life to get healed from sickness, to raise dead, to cleanse any skin disease and drive out demons!
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8 NIV).”
Now many ask why Holy Spirit is compared to Dove, why not any other bird. Dove is a very sensitive bird. It will not sit in an unclean place and in any sign of discomfort it will fly away. Same way is the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is extremely sensitive that Holy Spirit rests only in clean place and even at the simple sign of uncleanliness He will fly away like the dove. Hence we need to be more careful.
When we look in the Book of Genesis, God commanded Noah to build an ark for he was to destroy the earth with rain. Noah obeyed and there was a great rain for 40 days. After the rain, Noah didn’t know whether the water subsided or not. Hence he send a Raven out, but the raven kept coming and going and Noah didn’t understand well. So he send a Dove out. But the Dove didn’t find a place to land and it returned to the ark. Noah reached out his arms and got the dove back in the ark. After seven days he let the dove again and in the evening the dove came back with a freshly plucked Olive leave! Hence Noah knew the water started to subside. After seven days he let the dove out and it no longer returned to the ark.
“After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. (Genesis 8:6-12 NIV).”
Now What is the symbol of peace? It’s a Dove with olive leaves in its beak! Well, where the Holy Spirit dwells, there is true peace and where there is no peace the spirit of God won’t stay there! This is why in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 10, Jesus told the twelve disciples to greet peace on the house they plan to stay for if its a worthy place the peace will stay upon the house else it will return to them!
“Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace, rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. (Matthew 10:11-13 NIV).”
In the Old Testament God lived in the sanctuary in the midst of His people. ““Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8 NIV).” But in this New Testament era we are the body of Christ and God likes to dwell in us.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV).”
Are we sacred enough for God to dwell in us by hearing God’s words and obeying Him or are we defiled with the sins of this world and destroying ourselves? Let’s wake up, let’s repent our sins and come back to the presence of Gracious Heavenly Father who loved us so much that He gave His one and only begotten son Jesus that whosoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life and bought us from the depths of sins to holy of holiness, by the blood of Jesus who been given to us through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV).”
Let’s no longer turn away from God and grieve the Holy Spirit. Let’s consecrate ourselves by accepting Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of our life and living a Holy Life making ourselves a ‘Resting Place’ for the spirit of God to dwell in us and to be submissive to the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth and to be used for the actions of Holy Spirit through us for the benefit of others for the glory of the Kingdom of God!
If you haven’t accepted Jesus this amazing God as Lord and Saviour in your life and would like to accept him, please say this prayer, believing in your heart and declaring by word.
‘Heavenly Father, I accept and believe Jesus is the only true God who came to redeem my sins. I believe Jesus is the son of God who came to this earth to die for my sins and to fulfil Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary and all the sufferings and pain that Jesus took on the body was for me, He was broken down and gave His very last drop of blood for me on the Cross of Calvary for the redemption of my sins and I accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour in my life, I confess my sins and give my life for Jesus. Please forgive me for every mistake I made in my life. Please come in me, live in me, fill in me and guide me until the last breath of my life and help me to stay away from evil ways and lead a holy and victorious Christian life as you please. And bring me to heaven to be with you forever. In Jesus name. Amen!’