Spiritual growth in the Father is an imperative for us. This does not mean, however, that we should never take care of ourselves outwardly, such as eating healthy and getting regular physical exercise. The Father made man in His own image and likeness so that He could have a place to dwell in. There is nowhere in the heavens or on the earth that the Father cannot possess, because He made everything, but even from before the beginning of time, He has never desired to dwell in anything made out of mortar, bricks, stone, or any other inanimate or nonliving thing. The Father is never moved or impressed by buildings, no matter how expensive or attractive they may be or how many wonderful features they have. Buildings can never contain or confine the glory of the Father. The only place in all creation where the glory of the Father can dwell is within human beings. So, the development and growth of the sons of God is crucial because it is they who represent and reflect the Father Himself. Our Father is the surveyor who comes to measure our growth on all levels.
It took six days for the Father to make everything in the universe. On the sixth day, He made man, and on the seventh day, He rested. Some of the most beautiful words He has ever spoken was when He looked upon everything that He had made, and especially man, and declared it to be “very good.” From then until now His word—His assessment—has never changed. No matter how bad things might seem or how thoroughly wickedness has perverted man, His glory and His light are much greater. Before sin, man walked in Father's presence and was filled with His glory. After sin, man went out of the presence of God and started walking after his own thoughts and desires generated by his corrupted heart that now knew both good and evil. While the vast multitudes of people would be slaves to their own disobedience and wickedness, there would always be a few in every generation who would seek the Father and be led by Him. So, every time the Father came to measure man’s spiritual growth, He would deal with them accordingly.
Not everyone walked in His glory. It wasn’t until the days of Moses that the Father gave instructions for building a tabernacle in which He could dwell. While the creation of all things is covered in only two chapters of Genesis, the book of Exodus devotes 13 chapters to the Father’s instructions to Moses for building the tabernacle. These instructions had to be followed to the letter; if even a single element or measurement was wrong, the building would be uninhabitable for the Father. Everything the Father instructed Moses to build had to be constructed with precision. While every element of the tabernacle, including its furnishings, had a specific meaning, the Father’s glory resided in the most holy place, on the mercy seat covering the ark of the covenant. Access to this place was allowed only to the high priest, who represented the people before the Father, and even he could enter only once a year, on the Day of Atonement.
In this tabernacle, with its incredible engineering and divinely-revealed design, the children of Israel possessed something completely unique that no other nation could claim: the glory of the Father in their very midst. As long as they had the Father, no force or army of man could withstand them. However, even the tabernacle was only temporal. The only permanent dwelling place for the Father would be in His people, and they would be called “living stones.” Christ would be the Son who through His righteous and just life would remove the partition that separated man from the Father. He became the great High Priest who restored everyone’s access to the Father’s presence.
The Father’s focus has never been on the world, but on His sons. He certainly loves the world, but His eyes are on those who have committed their lives into His hands to grow into His fullness, which is His image and likeness. While many believers are focused on being both sin-conscious and enemy-conscious, they miss the mark because both sin and the enemy have been defeated by Christ, who has given every son power and authority over them. The Father, who is the surveyor, comes at different times to measure those in whom His glory dwells; these are the sons of the Father. There can be no inconsistencies as they grow into the perfection of Christ. His necessary adjustments along the way can be painful, but He builds His temple without any noise. They are a chosen people, a royal priesthood being constructed into a holy nation, and He is their King. If there are any imbalances or incorrect measurements in this building made of living stones, its representation of the King will be inaccurate.