Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You Might Not Like This Post

I'm just going to jump on in with it.

We are the Temple of God and with that beauty, there is great expectations. We already know that there is nothing we could do to become right with God. We also know that is is nothing we can do to make the Spirit dwell in us outside of believing in the saving work of Jesus Christ. He has sealed us in Him and we are His (Ephesians 1:13).


We have there right to contaminate our Temple. We can make it yucky and ugly and have very little room for the Holy Spirit to do His thing.

Let me assure you, my Temple doesn't shine very brightly when it's left to me, BUT, when I yeild to the power of the Holy Spirit and let Him do some cleaning up, there is nothing I can't do with and for Him.

Grab your Bible and go to 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1.

If you don't have one, I'm going to put this entire thing riiiiight here...

"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my
people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves
from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

Paul begins his talk in regards to believers yoking with unbelievers and how what the pagans practice and believe is in no way appropriate for believers. But, he continues with a broader command, "...let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit..."

Hmm, that's a little vague, but we know deep down what he's talking about. That deep down is most likely the Spirit of God.

Let's unpack this a little bit. In fact, let's head back to the Old Testament and get the focus off of us for awhile!

About 170-ish years after the Temple had been built be Solomon, King Hezekiah needed to get in there a clean things up a bit. After so many ungodly Kings and priests the place was, to say the least, pretty neglected. You can find his story in 2 Chronicles 29.

Outside of the Temple among the people, they had become a people that followed any kind of god and worshipped anywhere. In that process, the people also "were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord and forsook him. They shut the doors and put out the lamps. They didn't burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the Lord..."

Not good.

Hezekiah got busy. He told the Levites (a clan in Israel that the priests came from)

"Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord...remove all defilement from the sanctuary...My sons do not be
negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense."

So, they cleaned out the Temple, began sacrifices again, they worshipped again, they knelt down and worshipped, they sang praises and the temple of the Lord was reestablished!

Think about your own life. Is there anything in your temple that is contaminating your body or spirit? Is there anything blocking your "insence," your prayer?

I got to thinking about that and was convicted that my physical temple, my Inner court, if you will, was being left to ruin. Oh, there are other areas that need continual examination like what I watch on TV, or the conversations I have, or even what I think about. But, what about the seriousness of taking care of the actual physical body of the New Covenant Temple.

Again, everything we experience is a shadow of what is to come. Our bodies in heaven will be perfect, but until then, these bodies must come under the authority of Jesus. Not that he's like, "Uh, get that body into shape!" No, for me it's more that I need my body to be under His authority so that I have a sharp mind to study, a strong body to work, a rested body to manage and house, and a healthy body to live as full as I can.

For me, my contaminants have been the neglect of my physical body. What about you? What needs to come out of your Temple?

Lack of self discipline?

What is in your Temple that is not good for you or not healthy? We talk an awful lot about having a healthy spiritual heart and mind, but what about having a healthy physical heart and mind? Are they not a physical extension of our Holy of Holies? Are they not to be offered to God for His work?

Indeed they are:

"Therefore, I urge you, (sisters!), in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1-2

This concept can cross all sort of things in our lives. From what we eat, to the emotions we carry. All of it must come to the sweet mercy of God and there we can let His Holy Spirit gently cleanse anything that might be contaminating our Temples.

Take time to examine and spend time with Jesus. Ask Him if there is anything that needs to come out and be tossed away. The more we get rid of the junk, the more room He has to take over!


Kim Heinecke said...

Sometimes what starts out as a good thing ends up collecting dust and eventually needs to be thrown out. This has been true for me...

Tammy said...

I believe mine is self discipline. I start out well and end up not following through. Ouch! this made me think...but wonderufl post

Mary said...

Yep. Mine is self-discipline as well. Great post! Thanks for stepping on my toes.

I enjoy reading these every day.