For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
– Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)
God is high and holy, so it should not surprise us that he dwells in a high and holy place. What should absolutely amaze us is that he would dwell with people – with those who are contrite and lowly.
To be lowly is to see ourselves in a right relationship to God. He is high and we are low. He is eternal and we are temporal. He is holy and we are not. Being lowly is not thinking we are garbage – we are image-bearers of God! Being lowly simply means that we see things as they are – God is greater than I am, and so life is about him and not me.
To be contrite is to be crushed or undone by our sins. It means that our sins against God that led him to the cross move us to weep. We cry out with Isaiah, “Woe is me!” (Isaiah 6).
And when we humble ourselves before the Lord, humbly confessing our sins and looking to him for salvation, he moves into our lives. The Holy Spirit makes us his home. We become temples of the living God. God dwells with us. What a wonderful thing that God would dwell with us!
And as God dwells with us – he revives our spirits, he revives our hearts. He gives us life – new life. He gives us significance as his presence exalts us. He gives us salvation from our sins as his Spirit applies the work of Jesus to our lives. When we come with contrite and lowly hearts, he exalts us and saves us – as he comes to dwell within us.