Worshipful Wednesday: A Living Sanctuary

Photo Credits Ron Giangiacomo

Photo Credits
Ron Giangiacomo

Psalm 114:1-2

“When Israel left Egypt, when the family of Jacob left a foreign nation behind, 2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel His Kingdom.”

1 Corinthians 3:16

 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 6:19
” Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
2 Corinthians 6:16
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
Ezekiel 36:27
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
Psalm 116:6,13
“I will serve the LORD in the land of the living,13 I will celebrate my deliverance and call on the name of the LORD.”

Psalm 115:1

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us!  But to Your name bring honor, for the sake of your loyal love and faithfulness.”

How humbling and amazing it is that the God of this universe would choose to dwell in us.  And for what purpose would a perfect, Holy Being elect to dwell in a sinful vessel?  His glory and relationship.  Amazing love and grace.  It is his indwelling that makes us Holy and restores our relationship with Him.

What a beautiful picture it is of the Israelites, choosing to accept the deliverance of God and leaving behind Egypt and all of its hardship and trappings.  It took faith, for sure, to trust in God to deliver them – their enemy was so powerful.  But that faith was met with a glorious fulfillment in which His people became His sanctuary.  Imagine if they accepted the deliverance from God but still wanted to serve the gods of Egypt – would God condone such an action?  Sound familiar?

We, too, were called to come out and be separate – to leave our former way of life and walk in a new abundant life.  We cannot remain unchanged, we cannot take the sinful traditions around us and think God will wink at that.  When the Holy indwells the unholy, it is to redeem and change us forever, it is to purchase us from a dead way of living, and we are no longer our own.  The things of this world which we would cling to in ignorance, only serve to hinder the transformation that Christ is accomplishing in those who are fully surrendered to Him.

Without His indwelling, we would merely be trying to follow laws, which we can never fully achieve.  With His indwelling, God is able to convict us of sin and cause us to walk in His statutes.  What a miracle that is – formerly we had no concern for obeying God, then suddenly our hearts desire to do His will.  Praise God!

Ultimately, this radical love expressed in such a sacrificial salvation was all for His glory.  We are the benefactors but also the mirrors which reflect His glory.  He, being manifest and represented in each of us Who have accepted His free gift, restores to us once again what it is to be made in His image.

Lord, thank You for saving us!  Thank you for Your mighty deliverance!  Help us to not use this freedom to indulge the flesh by compromising and still living like we did when you saved us.  The cost was high and may we never take Your salvation for granted.

What is Your Egypt: The Sovereignty of God

Egypt

Exodus 2:24-25
God heard their groaning, God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites and God understood.”

Exodus 3:9
“And now indeed, the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them.”

Why did the Israelites have to be held captive in Egypt? God knew the Israelites would starve had it not been for sending Joseph to Egypt, and that a difficult calling. Blessed in the land of Egypt, later they found themselves resident in a land that discriminated against them and persecuted them viciously. Was this what God intended?

What I love about the story of the Israelites is God’s amazing sovereignty throughout. He brought the Israelites to Egypt because He knew a famine was coming. He chose Moses from a Levitical tribe. He had Pharaoh’s daughter find Moses, which preserved his life, then provided his sister, Miriam, to find his mother as a nursemaid. Later, God would have Moses find Jethro, who would become his father-in-law, and then lead Moses to deliver His people from Egypt to the promised land.

Perhaps you are in Egypt now – not the literal Egypt, of course, but a time of suffering and testing, holding you captive. Have you believed the lie that you will never be set free? Assuredly we cannot escape Egypt unscathed or scarred by the painful memories of that experience, but we can see those oppressive moments redeemed and used for good in our life and in the lives of others. Reflecting on how God provided for the Israelites and always knew the end can give courage to our souls that this same God will not abandon us. He knows. He sees. He understands.

Sometimes surviving in and even recovering from Egypt can take awhile, but knowing that even in those moments of sorrow, God has intentions far beyond what we could imagine. Nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom. Seemingly forgotten in your Egypt, God knew all along how He was going to fashion the fabric of your life with material that was deemed ugly combined with what He deemed beautiful. By the way, God still hears the cries of His children…cry out to Him today, not just for yourself but for others, too, who need some encouragement during their stay in Egypt.

Lord, thank You that You are sovereign! Nothing is hidden from You and You are faithful to weave our difficulties with moments of triumph, all for your magnificent glory!