And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
The Word of God, from the beginning to the end, conspicuously declares one important fact, that God always looks for a place of rest for Himself. He has been looking for a place that satisfies His heart from the very beginning. In the book of Genesis, we however read that as soon as God began to rest in His creation, there was someone who didn’t like it! Yes, almost immediately the forces of evil came against and opposed the rest that God had found in His own creation!! Right from that time there has been a battle concerning God’s rightful place of rest in His creation. This eternal issue highlights two things. Firstly, God is ever and always seeking for a place where He can be satisfied and where he could rest. He desires to have a place where His presence would be unchallenged. He desires to have a place where His presence would be accepted without any controversy. Secondly, there is a perpetual conflict raging in the realms of the cosmic. This conflict is directed against all that God wants to establish upon the earth.
The place where God would like to rest has been a matter of controversy and dispute right from the beginning. The Bible is full of accounts of this dispute of God’s right to have a place of rest here. God has always wanted to have a place where the name and the glory of His Son would be manifested, and where He would be able to rule and reign as the undisputed King. The forces of evil have opposed this objective from the very beginning. The battle has been raging throughout the ages. Even in this hour in which we are living, the battle continues fiercely and unrelentingly. The battle intensifies and the forces of evil muster all their strength to deny God His rightful place of rest and authority in the midst of His creation!
The prince of this world is not going to relinquish his place and rule upon the earth without a severe battle. The devil knows that one day the kingdom of God will come upon this earth for the Scripture says that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof”. God desires that His will may be done in the earth as it is done in the heavens. Satan and his forces of darkness will fight, tooth and nail, to prevent it from becoming a reality. From the beginning the prince of this world has come against this purpose of God. This conflict, that has been fought all through the ages, is over the presence of God upon this earth. This battle is focused to get God out, even to force Him out! It’s meant to cause everything that is of God to ultimately quit the earth. The enemy forces endure and persist in waging this battle with all the resources at their command, because they desire to live upon the earth and to possess it. Hence, the purpose of this call of God, that extends to every sincere believer, is to experience the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, that there may be a place upon the earth to manifest and house His presence. The purpose of church is to have fellowship with the Son and to provide a place for the person of God.
There is a great ambition in some people to form churches. Little do they realise that the early apostles never ‘formed’ churches. Churches were birthed and came into being by the Spirit of God. Today, on the contrary, churches are being raised up, all over the earth, by the power of man’s strength. Men have laid down targets to build and establish thousands of churches all over India by 2000 AD. However, we see that while men are forming organisations and institutions called ‘churches’, the eternal Son is looking for a place to house His presence. What we see all around is groups of men getting together to organise churches. It is as in the days when Jesus was here in the flesh. The Son of Man had no place to rest His head! That is a reality even today!
We find all kinds of churches and fellowships thriving at almost every place that man has set his foot upon. People have given all sort of names and even obscure names for their groups or churches. I came across the name of a church group named ‘Don’t Worry Fellowship’! Indeed, the word ‘fellowship’ has been misused and perverted and dragged into the dust. Beloved, God needs to open our eyes to see the depth of this word ‘fellowship’. The fellowship of His Son does not mean going to church, having camaraderie and hugging one another! The word ‘fellowship’ really means to have fellowship with the Son in a way that involves giving Him His rightful place in our lives. It means giving Him a place where His presence can really be housed.