As an American, I felt out of place when I stepped into the world of India on my first trip there. Everything was strange to me—the sights, sounds, smells, language, houses, clothing, atmosphere. But that evening, I entered the front door of a church, left my flip flops in the entryway, and joined my barefoot brothers and sisters in Christ who welcomed me with open hearts. Though most were strangers and spoke a different language, the Lord’s love in them made me feel like family. I was on the other side of the planet, but I felt at home. The same peace, the same presence of the same Spirit, the same sound of voices honoring the Lord with joy that can’t be faked.
I was home. Though dispersed around the globe, Christ’s followers dwell in one place—the secret place of the Most High—one Father’s house, where he embraces his children in the shadow of El Shaddai (Psalm 91:1).
In our current Coronavirus circumstance of “social distancing,” many congregations are handling services online with their people scattered in various places. In the Spirit, however, we’re not scattered but dwelling in one sanctuary. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and makes each of our mortal bodies alive is not divided. He is whole and so connects us as one. The more we each surrender our trust to the Lord, the more we take on His family resemblance and participate in His household. We harmonize to the heartbeat of the same Spirit, the unique color of each journey interconnected in a worldwide network where every cord affects the whole.
In the world we will have Coronavirus, but be of good cheer! Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). As we dwell in His presence together, we are also overcoming fear, shame, unforgiveness, and pride. As we live before the face of Father God, anxiety dissolves and His strength rises, no matter what happens around us.
Dwelling in the Father’s secret place doesn’t mean we no longer touch the world. On the contrary, it means just the opposite. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is not stagnant but ever reaching outward to infect others. When we dwell in the sanctuary of His Spirit and word, we receive his rich peace, and like Him we’re also reaching outwards to conduct His peace to others. We expose our worldwide neighbors to Christ’s goodness that leads them to repentance (Romans 2:4), so they can also dwell in the Father’s house forever (Psalm 23:6).
Find it in Scripture: Psalm 23:6; 91:1-16; Ecclesiastes 3:11; John 16:33; 17:3; Romans 2:4; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7