Do you not know that you are the temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16 HCSB
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Ouch! This verse steps all over my toes. Especially right now. We just made a rush trip to Texas this weekend to visit an old friend who is in the end stages of liver failure. It was emotional and stressful. We also spent time with other friends that we haven’t seen in ages. Not to mention all the yummy foods available in Texas that we can’t get here in Colorado. (Can you say Tex-Mex heaven?) I overindulged repeatedly…justifying my actions because it would be a loooong time before I could have such goodies again. The NLT version asks, “Do you not realize…”? The AMP version questions, “Do you not discern and understand…”? Did I even think about being a living sanctuary—God’s temple? Not really.
For we are the sanctuary of the living God…
2 Corinthians 6:16
And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.
What’s more, you are His holy priests.
1 Peter 2:5 NLT
As I read this verse, I thought about what a temple or sanctuary actually is….
Wikipedia defines a temple as “a temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.”
Dictionary.com defines a temple as “any place or object in which God dwells.”
Dictionary.com and Wikipedia both state a sanctuary is “a sacred or holy place.”
So, I am a ‘sacred precinct’, a ‘holy place’ where God dwells. Am I taking care of it properly?
Rick Warren puts it like this: “When you don’t take care of your body, you are vandalizing God’s temple.” That is a very scary thought because I sure haven’t been treating my body as I would something sacred and holy!
And I “know” all this. Why do I find it so hard to put this knowledge into action? God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in me! But there are times you would never know it by my behavior. James 4:4 HCSB asks
“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.”
Yet I still can’t seem to do what I know is right!
Romans 7:21 NLT describes this perfectly: “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” The struggle is constant and real. It is a battle I cannot win alone. It would be very easy to feel hopeless and give up. Thankfully, Psalm 73:26 NASB whispers to me: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
These verses remind me I do not have to do it alone:
The Lord hears His people <me> when they <I> call to Him for help.
He rescues them <me> from all their <my> troubles.
Psalm 34:17 NLT
God is our <my> Refuge and Strength; always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NLT
For You have rescued me from my troubles
and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
Psalm 54:7 NLT
God will give me victory over my fleshly desires if I call out to Him. He is always there…waiting to help…if I am willing to give control to Him.
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Father, gently remind me that Your Spirit dwells permanently in me. Let my actions reflect that I am a sacred and holy place. Taking care of Your temple, Your sanctuary is in itself an act of worship and gratitude. Thank You for being there…a proven help when I struggle. I am so thankful Your mercies are new each day and that I do not have to do this on my own. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen – It is so!