As some of you know, I have been actively changing my diet. I have tried to be far more aware of what I eat, when I eat, and how many calories. Several years ago, I began a journey in reading the Bible cover to cover. During that time, I was also attempting to change my eating and I succeeded. Unfortunately, the mindset I have lived the majority of my life with remained unchanged. I slowly went back to eating things out of habit, convenience, stress, anger, boredom, and a desire to stuff myself. Worse, I also ate things to turn off my sensitivity to things God was speaking to me. It took a toll on my waistline, and an even bigger toll on my spirit and walk with God. I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but continued all the same. Finally I reached a point like Popeye: “that’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” Which brings me to todays’ study.
Last Sunday at church we were discussing the vision of the river from Take a read, I’ll wait.
Quite a vision. As I was listening Sunday, it struck me how when I finally hit the end of myself that I had to start again at the altar. God calls us to remember in more places than I can remember. When counseling others, we attempt to start at salvation, and then see where things have gotten messed up along the way. Ezekiel’s vision is kinda like that (starting at the alter) and traveling a bit then getting in the water. I could go much deeper with this, but it will have to wait. I just wanted y’all to have an appreciation from the point of view I’m coming from when I hit these next mostly unrelated verses.
We are the temple of the living God. What part do we have in idols? Can a ‘temple of God’, where the Holy Spirit dwells, share it’s building with the perverse or vile? If our body is the temple, can we join our body with evil and still be a temple of God? Can I unite light with darkness? When people are obsessed with ‘fill-in-the-blank’ are they then a temple to another God? If I live to play golf, am I a temple to a game? If my focus is my job, am I a temple to my career, work ethic, title, salary, position? How many take the time to find out what temple they are getting yoked with when they meet someone? Many people claim to know Jesus, they even claim Him as a savior, and yet they carry on as a temple to some other god or gods.
I have been a temple to many things besides our God. but thankfully the old has passed away and my new life is risen in Christ. I have at times lost sight of this and needed to ‘return to the altar’ so to speak in order to go forward with the Holy Spirit. I could so go there right now with Ezekiel’s vision… but lets stick to Corinthians.
We are to glorify God in both out body and spirit. We were purchased at a great price – how many times have I taken this for granted? The greatest price ever paid was paid for you and me. What do we do with it? Am I joining Jesus to my addictions? Have I made Him a glutton, sexually immoral, greedy, covetous, lazy? Have I made Jesus a jerk? Is He reigning in my life? or am I still on the throne – giving Him permission to work on a few areas where I think I need improvement? God is God, weather I approve or not. Is allowing my passions and flesh to rule my life showing this temple to be full of the Holy Spirit or some other spirit? My culture seems to have an ‘anything goes’ mentality. How often have I been exposed to the concepts of holiness, suffering, wrestling with God, living completely different? I’ve seen a lot of ‘pretty’ buildings claiming to be temples to my God – but are they? Is my spirit directed by and consumed with my God, or am I a double-minded man… unstable in all my ways?
Paul is putting it out there pretty direct in both 1 and 2 Corinthians. If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. If I destroy this temple of God, God will destroy me. If my temple is destroyed by my actions, the Holy Spirit is grieved. I believe that when the Holy Spirit is grieved, He has to look the other way or possibly even leave. Is my temple now open to destruction? If my temple were God’s, doesn’t judgement begin first in the house of the Lord? Jesus taught it this way – first remove the log in your own eye, then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. If God destroys a temple, can it be rebuilt? Interesting note: think of Solomon’s temple, and then the rebuilt temple. Remember Nehemiah and Ezra? First rebuild the defenses, then rebuild the temple, then study the Word of God, then Revival comes. It’s like the commandment to ‘remember’ or God saying ‘return to Me’. If the temple of God has been defiled – God will destroy the defiler. Salvation perhaps is the realization that we have defiled the Temple of God (our bodies) and He destroys us, (we die to self), so we can rise again with Christ (a new creation).
Can a soul be fat? What size jeans does my soul wear? Are souls crippled? Are they different in their ethnicity? Is the spirit of a man the soul of a man? If someone teaches the Bible with evil intent, or twists scripture to have it say what they want: if I listen to that teaching, am I eating food sacrificed to idols? When I buy a book on the Bible that has been produced to make money or enhance image/fame/influence… Am I eating food sacrificed to idols? Jesus taught his disciples that His flesh was true food and His blood true drink. John says that Christ was the Word made flesh.
I realize this is scattered – and much of it is incomplete, but, this is what I’m thinking about today. I hope it inspires you to go deeper, and I’m sure there will be more expansion in the near future.