God made each of us for Himself. This reality is something we must embrace. For the Lord loves us and seeks to bring us into a mature, healthy relationship with Him.
The book of Revelation begins with Jesus sending specific messages to seven different churches. These messages are kind of like report cards. Each church has a particular character and a few of them are facing real issues that are affecting and even hindering the movement of God in the midst of their assemblies.
The church at Laodicea had fervency issues, it seems. The Lord addresses the lukewarm nature of that group. He used strong language to express His distaste over what was going on there: “Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).
Let’s be careful not to stop reading at that statement. God had more to say.
“To those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” The strong language of the Savior was intended to wake up these sleepy believers. He wanted them to fully enjoy the life that He had for them. And this attitude of Jesus led Him to say what he said next: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
God comes to our doors. He knocks upon them. He wants to sit at our tables. He wants to share a meal with us.
This is true for every single church of God. And it is true for every single believer in Jesus Christ. He wants to be with us. He wants to talk with us. He knows who we are. He knows our challenges and our struggles. He loves us and He loves those beyond us. He loves the world, “so loves” it, says John 3:16.
We may cool off in our relationship with Him. We may allow things to interfere with our fellowship. We can say the wrong things, just as we say the wrong things to the ones closest to us, to family and friends. We can do the wrong thing, from time to time. We offend people. We may have even broken someone’s heart at one time or another.
The Good News, the Gospel Truth really, is this: He is still here, knocking on our doors, patiently waiting, hoping that we will open up to Him.
Every one of us is a member in particular of the Body of Christ. Each of us was fearfully and wonderfully made by Him (see Psalm 139). We are what we are because of His design and wisdom.The Lord wants to be at home in us. It is up to us to open our doors to Jesus when He knocks. He’s not even concerned over what’s on our tables when we let Him in. He just wants to be there with us, heart to heart. Click To Tweet
There are people all about us. We are members of families. We live in communities. We have neighbors.
However, we each stand and fall before God. We are believer-priests and we belong to Him and to Him alone.
We have responsibility before Him. Our soul is “continually” in our hands. This truth is communicated in verse 109 of Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible. It is a psalm that emphasizes the importance of the Word of God over and over and over.
The Lord wants to be at home in us. It is up to us to open our doors to Jesus when He knocks. He’s not even concerned over what’s on our tables when we let Him in. He just wants to be there with us, heart to heart. One day we will be face to face with Him.
Temples for Him
Moses and Israel erected the Tabernacle in the wilderness according to the design of God. They made it and the Lord showed up with the cloud of His Presence. There was so much glory there that Moses himself could not enter. Solomon organized the construction of the great Temple. You can read of it in 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles. He imagined the magnificence of that building, which was mostly designed by King David as God gave the details to him. The Temple was completed and again God came in with His Presence and all fell upon their faces in worship.
Two other temples were built, one by the people of Israel and another by Herod, the Roman appointed king of Judea. But we do not read of the Lord showing up in those buildings.
That’s because God had something else in mind. Through Christ, a new and living way to worship was made, worship not based on place, time, and ritual, but worship that is rooted in Spirit and Truth.
Now, we are the Temples of the Living God. Paul wrote of our bodies as holy places (see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19). Each of us can make our hearts a comfort zone for the Holy Spirit.
Oh, the Spirit does live in us, regardless of the state of our walk with the Lord. This is the fact of amazing grace. He makes us sons and daughters and this is a permanent identity. We cannot erase the seal of God that He puts upon us when we welcome His mercy and call upon Him to be saved. But we sometimes must choose to unclutter and dejunk the structures of our souls so that the Spirit will not be quenched or grieved.
So how are we to do this? Psalm 119 gives a number of instructions. No. 1 is to “take heed” to the Word of God. Paying attention to the Truth cleanses us in seasons of failure, and it can keep us from sin (see Psalm 119:9, 11).
One important prayer phrase in Psalm 119 is this one: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Here’s another good one: “Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments” (Psalm 119:73).
Let’s allow the Word to give form and order to our souls. This will provide a frame of reference for the work of God in us. Jesus, of course, put it best when gave this amazing promise:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).