The Lofty One
The Bible records a beautiful lofty place, high and lifted up, in which the believer may dwell. Isaiah teaches that this dwelling is not found in any place drafted by the fleshly, architectural mind of man, but designed by the Master Builder of lives, namely, “the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). This verse gives us a beautiful picture of God’s relationship with his people. He is the High and Holy One, the Glorious, Exalted One. He reigns over all in heaven and on Earth. The Lord Almighty tells us, “Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool” (Acts 7:49). The “Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” needs no other dwelling. Yet the Lofty One chooses to dwell in the believer (I Corinthians 6:19), revealing His fruit-filled life to those abiding in Him (John 15:1-ff). He dwells “with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit” (Isaiah 57:15), and when He does, He dwells with a purpose that comes alive: “to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (v. 15). Question? Is the “One … whose name is Holy” (v. 15) particular with whom He chooses to dwell? The answer is certain; absolutely, the Lofty Lord never did invite the Pharisee to dwell with Him in HIS lofty place, because the religiously proud chose his own deceitfully-contrived “lofty place of his own misconstrued religious mind” by praying “thus with HIMSELF” (Luke 18:11). His prayer went no further than the bottom of His sinful, darkened, wicked religious heart: “for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased” (v. 14). A living, revived (to live again) heart is gifted by God to the one dismissing pride and the false assumption of self righteous worthiness Isaiah tells us: “thus saith the High and Lofty One … I dwell … WITH HIM that is of a contrite and humble spirit” (v. 15). The Lord’s spiritual activity of: “dwelling with” has a literal Bible meaning of abiding with, and to make a home with those of a special spiritual brand of spirit. So, exactly, who are those with whom God says “I will dwell” at home with, to be at home with? The answer is simple: to those who are not “high and lofty in their own spirit,” thus dismissing and disqualifying themselves from His indwelling Spirit. There then, are God’s chosen contrite ones, the humble ones identifying themselves with the Publican of Luke’s Gospel, who “would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner” (18:13). Rather than promoting oneself onto the throne room of one’s own religious mind, the Psalmist tells us “Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool” (Psalm 99:5). The Lord chooses to “dwell with” those who realize their God-given place, prostrate before His throne. Oh, be a dweller WITH HIM; then, blend together in a Spirit-filled life with those whose hearts are humble, contrite, open, and teachable. Then, and then only can the Lofty One raise us to the level of spiritual fellowship in the His local body, the church. Oh, dear child of God, we must recognize the One who truly is the Lofty One in our midst, and not we ourselves, deceived by the sin of self-promotion. When we are in the “spiritual know” of how unworthy we are of God’s love, mercy and grace, it is at that instant when God brings us to the place of which are hearts are truly longing for; the Lord lifts us up to the lofty experience of dwelling in HIS Spirit-filled presence. The proud man is sinfully distant to a Spirit-filled life found only in the dwelling place of His presence. The contrite one understands that the Lofty One is also the God “whose name is Holy,” separate from the sinful pride of man (Isaiah 57:15). God’s loving heart is moved by individuals who cry the repentant publican prayer that will land at the lofty place in heaven: “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Yes, God does choose to bring those who humble themselves to the lofty place “to revive (to live again) the heart of the humble … and the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15). Oh, acknowledge your weakness, realize your soul’s need of Him, rejecting Pharisaical-religious pride, surrender with dependence on the Lofty One who will bring you to that “high and holy” place, not found in yourself, but by dwelling in Him. Remember, the Lofty One refreshes, revives, and gives revival to the repentant publican with whom we can identify and worship at his footstool.