Devotion for October 21, 2023

“Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8)

When David talks about the house where God dwells, he’s referring to the Tabernacle — what the Israelites understood to be the literal dwelling place of God’s Spirit on earth (at that point in history).

It was easy for them to see this literal tent as a place of glory and God’s presence because it was made of fine fabric, adorned with precious metals, there were constant sacrifices, priests attending to it, and God even demonstrated his glory visibly from time to time through supernatural cloud, fire and smoke. And everything relating to the Tabernacle was to be done with utmost respect and appropriateness.

Since Jesus walked on this earth and the Holy Spirit came into every believer, God’s temple is considered to be all of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). I find it pretty difficult to truly wrap my head around the implications of this.

We tend to go one of two ways regarding our bodies (or sometimes both simultaneously). Either we worship them, doing everything we can to keep them at their prime, prioritizing only that which will achieve the perfect body. Or, we abuse them, using our bodies as a way to feel something — pleasure, pain, gluttony, adrenaline, etc.

I struggle to see my body as a temple, especially when it can feel more like something I’m trapped inside of, rather than a place of refuge and retreat. And I am a reasonably able-bodied person — so I can only imagine how much worse it is for those who aren’t so mobile and active.

But imagine if we could sincerely talk about our bodies as David does about God’s house: “I love [my body], the place where God lives, the place where his glory dwells.”

You don’t worship the temple but the thing for which it was built. It is the same for our bodies.

I really hope I don’t get smoke or fire billowing out of me as a demonstration of God’s presence. But I know what I will have, as a result of the Holy Spirit, is grace, love, mercy, joy, sacrifice, refuge and peace.

Prayer

Abba Father, we can’t fully comprehend that your glory dwells in us. It is too great a mystery to ever appreciate fully. But we know that because of this, we can treat ourselves and each other respectfully. We can be the refuge for the broken, sinful and ashamed. Please help us to neither worship our bodies nor shun them. Instead, we acknowledge that what we worship is your glory and greatness. Help us to live our lives holding on to that knowledge. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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