So, does this shelter at home stuff apply to God? I wonder how He feels about it?
In Ephesians 3 Paul prays that God would grant Christ to be at home in our hearts through faith. Now, Christ already lives in your heart if you are a believer. What Paul is praying is revealed by looking more closely at the word he used for “dwell.”
Paul uses a compound word. He takes the word most commonly translated “dwell” or “abide” and adds a preposition to the front of it. Now, he didn’t make this up, it’s an actual word, but it is significant that he used it here. The preposition is the word for “down.” When added to a word like this it suggests permanence or intensity.
A literal translation of the word might be to “house down.” It doesn’t make a lot of sense to say it that way, until maybe you think about how we have “hunkered down” for the past month or so because of Covid-19. We have been told to “stay at home” or “shelter in place.” What Paul is praying is that Jesus would “house down” inside of you and me. The idea is that He would be permanently, thoroughly, and comfortably at home in our hearts.
Ooo. Maybe we should make a point of hoarding every conceivable spiritual amenity that would make Jesus comfortable sheltering in place in the deepest recesses of our hearts.
But here’s the clincher. You know, really, we aren’t all that thrilled at being “stuck” at home, even with all the stuff that’s supposed to make us comfortable. And yet, God, the creator and sustainer of all that exists, chooses to want to “stay at home” inside of us. That, my friend, is love.