The Christian Faith is Defined by Covenant
God Inhabits What He Builds
Lesson 5 of 13
It is so important for us to understand that God must empower faith for faith to be living. For God to empower faith, faith must be built according to the pattern that God Himself supplies. We are going to look at 2 clear examples of this in the Old Testament.
First, where God gave Moses the blueprints to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, and then, after Moses constructed all things according to the pattern God gave him, God visited in great power and glory, empowering faith by His presence. We see the exact same thing happened when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem according to the pattern God gave to David his father.
What we see God teaching us from these examples is that He inhabits what He builds. Once we understand this pattern in the Old Testament we can then appreciate how it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and how faith today follows the same pattern, namely, that God gives a pattern by which He desires faith is to be built, and then He habits our faith when we build according to His pattern.
8. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
9. According to all that I shew thee, after the PATTERN of the tabernacle, and the PATTERN of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
Can you see that the “pattern” is the blueprint God gives to the steward of His house (Moses) by which the people built faith? Their faith in God was to be expressed with the knowledge and articles (instruments) of the temple. Isn’t it marvelous to know that Moses did not scratch out the plans for the tabernacle from his imagination. God gave him the plans. It is equally amazing to see how the people, after having received their instructions, didn’t scratch their heads saying, “I wonder what God wants me to do?”
By this we can see that God supplied for their faith first by the pattern and then by their doing of it. Now we’ll read about God’s miraculous visitation when Moses finished constructing the tabernacle according to the pattern God gave:
33. And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.
34. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
35. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
What is God teaching us here? God is teaching us that:
He inhabits what He builds.
What God sanctifies, He confirms with His presence.
His presence empowers faith.
Let’s look at another example. This time we’ll read from 1 Chronicles about God’s visitation upon the temple Solomon built. Note that Solomon built the temple by the pattern God gave to David:
1 Chronicles 28:11-12,18-19
11. Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
12. And the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
18. And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19. All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
Note again God’s miraculous visitation when Solomon finished building the house of God according to the pattern that He gave:
2 Chronicles 5:1,13-14
1. Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
13. It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
14. So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
First we see that God gave Moses a pattern and then Moses built the tabernacle according to God’s specified design, and then God confirmed faith with His presence. Then we saw that God gave David the pattern of the temple, and then Solomon completed the building of it, and then the glory of the Lord filled His house.
Knowing that everything in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ that we may behold Him in the portions God assigned to represent Him, we need to understand that God gives the “pattern” ( blueprint) to the stewards of His house today (apostles) by which Christians build faith.
So then, we can understand the pattern this God established for our faith in the Second Covenant:
1. God inhabits what He builds.
2. What God sanctifies, He confirms with His presence.
3. God’s presence empowers faith.
4. The Lord builds our understanding by the Spirit. This means that when we build our faith with the true knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit inhabits the knowledge to bring understanding. This is His power, which we experience within our souls and which makes our faith living.
Many people desire God to empower their faith. They want the supernatural, abiding presence and power of God upon their faith, but they are not building their faith according to the pattern God gave His apostles. They are building faith according to many patterns of knowledge from man. God will not inhabit their faith for He did not build it and therefore believers experience a clear and definite lack of power in their faith, and scratch their heads asking, “I wonder what the will of God is.”
The good news is that God has never changed. He still works with a pattern of knowledge that He gives to His apostles to give to the people. He still inhabits what He builds. Never has covenant faith been so clearly defined.
This also takes us back to the change in faith from the physical (Moses) to the spiritual (Jesus Christ). Knowing, for example, that Jesus is now our tithe, and that God no longer builds faith upon that physical contact point, that God is not sanctifying the tithe, we know that His presence would not be in that tool.