The highest point and the most profound aspect of Christ dwelling in us is found in Eph. 3:16 – Christ making His home in our heart.
Why does God want to dwell in man? The desire of God’s heart is to have a house, a habitation, a dwelling place, and for this He comes to dwell in our spirit, He seeks to spread into every part of our heart, and eventually He will fill our body with His life, transforming it into the body of His glory.
Paul’s prayer in Eph. 1 was for revelation to see God’s economy, but his prayer in Eph. 3:14-21 was for the believers to experience Christ, especially to experience Him making His home in our heart through faith.
We need to be strengthened with power through God’s Spirit into our inner man (our spirit), so that Christ would make His home in our heart. This means that God wants to settle down in us – He’s not here to visit us or to occasionally be with us, but He’s here to stay, to make His home, and builds His house in us.
By making His home in us, we can be empowered and strengthened to build up God’s house in spirit. First, Christ makes His home in us, and then, we can build up God’s house, the church.
David wanted to build God a house, but God told him that first He has to work Himself into David, and then what comes out of David (his son) will build Him a house (see 2 Sam. 7).
We need to allow Christ to make His home in our heart and to build Himself into us, and then we will be those who build up His house, His habitation. This habitation is a mutual dwelling place, where God dwells in man and man dwells in God, and it will consummate in the New Jerusalem.
Being Strengthened with Power for Christ to Make His Home in Our Heart
The prayer in Eph. 3:14-21 is the highest and deepest prayer in Paul’s epistles, and it is really the heart of all his writings. Paul prayed that the Father would strengthen the saints with power through His Spirit into their inner man, so that Christ may make His home in their heart.
Christ is in us (Col. 1:27), dwelling in our spirit (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:22), but He wants to make His home in all our heart. Our heart is composed of the mind, the emotion, the will, and the conscience, the inward parts of our being.
When we were born again, Christ came into our spirit, and from there He wants to spread into every part of our being.
For Christ to make His home in us we need to be strengthened with power – the same power that rose Christ from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God in the heavenlies, the power which subjected all things under His feet and gave Christ to be Head over all things to the church (see Eph. 1:19-22).
We need to be strengthened with such a power through God’s Spirit into our spirit so that Christ may spread into every part of our heart to make His home in us. Since our heart is the center of our being, when Christ makes His home in our heart He will control our entire inward being, and He will supply and strengthen every part with Himself.
How much we need to be strengthened into our inner man every day so that Christ may have a way, an opportunity, and a chance to make His home in our heart a little more!
Our Heart Becomes Christ’s Home, Being Inclined Toward Him to Love Him
Our heart is a very mysterious yet real thing, being at the same time very real to us and also very deceiving. We don’t know our heart, and we don’t know what’s in there, but we know that our heart is the organ of our inclination toward things, the organ of affection, representing us with regards to our inclination, affection, delight, and desire toward things.
Before we believed in the Lord, our heart loved many other things, was inclined toward sin, desired negative things, loved the world, and was passionate about anything else except God.
But when Christ came into us, He gave us a new heart – He renewed our heart! Now we have a new inclination toward God and the Word of God, we love the Lord and the saints, we are affectionate toward the Lord and the spiritual things, we delight in God, and we desire more of Christ and more fellowship with the brothers and sisters. This is our renewed heart after regeneration.
However, in many aspects, we don’t practically have such a heart, since we are naturally inclined to live in our old ways, our old habits, and our old inclinations. That’s why we need to be strengthened by God into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our heart, and He will strengthen all the inward parts of our being to love Him, desire Him, and be one with Him.
The more Christ spreads within us, the more He occupies every part of our inner being, He possesses all these parts, and He saturates them with Himself.
Little by little, day by day, as we turn to the Lord and we open to Him, allowing Him to make His home deep down in our heart, we will love the Lord more, we will desire God and the things of God, and we will be joyful and desirous to meet with other saints to just enjoy the Lord!
Christ Wants to Feel at Home in us
Our home expresses our desire, our culture, our taste, our preference, and everything about us. We make our home and we decorate it (or not decorate it) the way we want it. It is the same with Christ: He wants to make our heart His home.
There are many articles being written, many magazines published, and many conferences given on “how to decorate your home”; there should be many more articles written, magazines published, and conferences given on, “how to let Christ make His home in us”.
Christ wants to re-arrange things in us and re-decorate our inward being, reconstructing us and reconstituting us with Himself, so that our heart would bear the characteristics, taste, preference, and flavor of Christ. Instead of bearing the worldly flavor or taste, our heart becomes His home, a place where He feels at rest.
Just as we desire a home that expresses us and matches our taste, so does God desire a home in our heart. God wants to settle down in us and occupy, redo, decorate, and remodel the rooms and avenues of our heart, filling our inward being with Himself.
He wants us to think His thoughts, desire what He desires, choose what He wills, and all this with a clear sky between us and Him.
If we just open to Him and allow Him to make His home in our heart, He will possess and occupy and saturate every part of our inward being with Himself, making us the same as He is. He will make us Christ little by little, because only He Himself matches God’s desire, His pleasure, and His thought.
Lord, make Your home in our heart. Strengthen us with Your resurrecting, ascending, enthroning, subjecting, and heading up power into our inner man through Your Spirit. Lord, spread into every part of our being, taking over our mind, emotion, will, and conscience. We just open to Your inward re-arranging, remodelling, reconstituting, and re-constructing. Lord, feel at home in us. Do in us the things You need to do that we may be just like You, matching You in every possible way. Make Your home in our hearts!
References and Further Reading
- Inspiration: A sharing by brother James Lee and portions in, Life-study of Ephesians (msg. 32), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, “The Completing Ministry of Paul“, week 3 entitled, The Indwelling Christ.
- Buy this HWMR book via LSM online here.
- Recommended further reading:
# The Knowledge of Life, by Witness Lee (p. 37);
# The Indwelling Christ in the Canon of the New Testament (chs. 13-14);
# Crucial Aspects of the Experience of Christ Revealed in Paul’s Epistles (ch. 5);
# Eph. 3:16 and all the footnotes in the Recovery Version (very helpful!).
- Hymns on this topic:
# It is God’s intent and pleasure / That His Christ make home in me; / Not just outwardly to serve Him, / But Christ dwelling inwardly.
# To Him who is able to do it / Above all we think or say, / We open our hearts wide and welcome / Him into our heart today.
# Grant us spirit of wisdom and of revelation, / Strengthen us, Lord, with power into our inner man, / Your economy then may become our vision, / And You may make home in our hearts to fulfill Your plan.
- Pictures credit: via a friend on facebook and via here.