In studying and meditating on 2nd Chronicles, especially on King Solomon and the building of the Temple, I am guided by the Holy Spirit to look at my own personal life, my walk with God and then substantiate my thoughts through the words of the New Testament. The first message I received is from 2nd Chronicles 1:3-12:
3 Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel—the generals and captains of the army, the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle was located there.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
8 Solomon replied to God…Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. (NLT)
My first conviction was over my own prayer life. How many times in my life have I prayed unselfishly as King Solomon did? How many times have my prayers been self-centered, and not towards other? How many times have my prayers been unanswered? As I ponder on this, I am led to 2 Timothy 2:1
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them
King Solomon’s request was to have the wisdom and knowledge to govern his people, to know how to help them, to know how to lead them, and to know how to pray for them as their leader. I need to remember that no matter how bad my life is, there are many others who are not blessed as I am. I need to be as King Solomon was and pray for the wisdom and knowledge to know how to pray for others.
I was also led to Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
I must be alert in my prayers, be filled with the Spirit and be persistent. I must not give up just because prayers go unanswered, but reflect on my prayer and determine if it is earnest and godly.
As I continued looking at King Solomon, I am in awe and amazement at the work and detail put into the building of the Temple of God. I am drawn to Solomon’s letter to Hiram, king of Tyre found in 2 Chronicles 2:5-6
“This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?
The Temple must be magnificent! Then Solomon shows his humility by stating “who am I” to build the Temple of God. What made Solomon special and worthy to build God a home to dwell in on earth and how could that be possible? But Solomon built the Temple, but not a nice place, a magnificent place. As I read through the details of the building of the Temple (also found in 1 Kings 6) I was in awe of the amount of gold, bronze, silver, the finest woods and the meticulous details that were put into the building of the Temple. As I read this, I was reminded of where the Temple resides today. I was led to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Then to Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
And further on to 1 Peter 2:4-5
4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.
5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God
And finally to 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Talk about a “wow” moment. My body is the Temple and it is how I care for my body that reflects how I treat the Temple of God. It is what I ingest, whether through my mouth or my mind that will care for the Temple, or destroy the Temple. I came to the understanding that I AM God’s holy temple! I have heard this many times over the years, but it takes a different meaning to me today as I recover from my 12th surgery and continue to anguish through the recovery of it. As I look at my body, my spirit, my moods, my emotions, my compassion for others, I have to ask myself, “Am I reflecting the Spirit of Christ and honoring the Temple of God in all that I do in my life and to my body?” When I stand in the mirror, do I see a reflection of a magnificent Temple like Solomon built, or do I see someone who reflects the influence of worldly living? That was a hard one to swallow; I do not see a magnificent Temple, not one that I would call worthy of the glory of God. What I do see is one that has been affected by this world and many scars to prove it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer states that when a believer takes mortification (dying to the incessant desires of the flesh) seriously, “he is more clearly aware than other men of the rebelliousness and perennial pride of the flesh, he is conscious of his sloth, and self-indulgence, and knows that his arrogance must be eradicated”. It is in our defeat that we can become more reliant on God. When I look in the mirror, I see defeat and I now understand that it is only through honoring God’s temple by drawing closer to Him that I will go from being defeated to victorious.
This post is not for promoting shame of our bodies, but to bring awareness of how caring for our bodies is honoring God. We must be actively fighting our own sin so that we will have more patience, understanding, and mercy towards other who are struggling with sin. We must understand that as we work to become spiritually fit, we must also rise to train our bodies, our minds, and our spirits to become fit in order to rise above our struggles. Some people may read this and say that I am fat shaming. If I am, I stand in that category as I am 75lbs overweight myself, but what we must understand is the current state of your body may not show the full extent of your efforts, but it doesn’t mean the effort is not there. Only God knows where your heart is, and whether or not you are taking care of His Temple. This post is a personal reflection. I have to ask myself hard questions, be in the Word of God in order to get truthful answers from Him and not ones from Satan. Some of those answers hurt; that is called conviction my friends. If I am going to claim to be a Christian, then I need to honor God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my body. That means I must look at my physical habits as well as eating habits and determine whether or not I am glorifying God’s Temple or destroying it. I also have to ask myself, “How much am I missing out on because I have not been honoring God with my body?” Being obese as I am, I have to ask myself “how has that affected my ability to minister to others?” I must always remember that my body isn’t just flesh, blood, water, and organs; it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
There is hope and each day brings a multitude of ways that we can improve our temple and in doing so, become honed to be a blessing and encouragement to others. There is no transformation more mysterious or deep than when the Holy Spirit takes up residence within and begins to shine through. We must also realize that some sins are extremely difficult to get rid of, and on some level, we will be tempted by certain personally familiar sins until the day we die. We can rise above being enslaved by them, but we may never rise above being enticed by them. This is why we must think through each thought carefully as you are in the process of renewing your mind and preparing for the next assault. Don’t just accept the deceit thrown your way, but take it to Christ in order to flee from such sins that are prone to enslave us. We must also realize that living with God’s grace gives us the strength to persevere even in the face of repeated failures. Becoming spiritually and physically fit are two ways that we can grow in our inner and outer strength, as well as in our ability and willingness to endure hardship. It is our reliance on Christ and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us which will give us victory over our enslavement to sin and lift us out from defeat to victory. Our body IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD and it is our calling and duty as Christians for it to be as magnificent and glorious as the Temple Solomon built because our God is worth more than we can ever give, but we can at least take care of His Temple while we are alive on this earth. My blessings to all who read this and my prayer is that this post will bring about a process of thought that will lead you to God’s Word in order to help you reflect on your own life and how you maintain the Temple of God.