I am not a Bible scholar, but I have studied the Scriptures about the building of the temple in Jerusalem by Solomon. I just read in my devotions today that David desired to build a temple, but God sent the prophet Nathan to tell David that he should not do so but that his son would. I looked up the facts online and found out that it took seven years to build the temple. For many years, the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness and had a tabernacle, a structure like a tent, that they used to offer sacrifices and worship God. Then, the great temple was built, with cedars from Lebanon, bronze and gold. So many riches were brought and presented to Solomon that he had all kinds of resources to make a wonderful temple. And so it was, until its destruction by the Babylonian Empire in the 500’s B.C. The Babylonians didn’t just destroy the temple, but they also sacked it, taking with them all that was of value inside it. What a travesty! But we must remember that God allowed this to happen because of the sins of the Israelites. Now, I have said all of this to say that today there is a temple for God. We are His temple!
So, whatever we do, we need to be aware that the Holy Spirit is right there inside us! There is nothing mystical about this experience, so I don’t want people who don’t believe in the sanctity of the Holy Spirit to misinterpret what I am saying. We are God’s children and have His Spirit residing in us, just as Jesus promised.
The Holy Spirit resides in us to teach us and remind us about the things of God. Sometimes, I feel like I need to just take a break from all of the noise and confusion in the world and just sit and relax in the presence of the Lord. That is when I hear the still, small voice of His Spirit speaking to me, giving me encouragement and blessing me with His Words of instruction for my life. He is alive inside me, but I can’t hear Him all the time because of the interfering noise of the world.
John the Baptist knew what was coming for the believers and told us plainly. First comes belief in Jesus as the Savior, the Only Son of God and then comes the Holy Spirit to reside in us. That’s a wow statement! It’s one that I have had to meditate on many times…God’s Holy Spirit lives in me and in you…in all believers. WE are His temple!
The Holy Spirit is a gift from the Father, our Comforter and Advocate, the One who leads us in the way we should go, if we would only listen to Him. He resides in us because we are the temple of the Lord. The building in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, but our temple is not one built by the hands of man. We are His creation and are being built daily by the Lord God, from the inside out.
We must remember, though, that God is a gentleman and He does not come in or stay where He is not welcome. We are to daily seek Him and find His will so that we are following the Holy Spirit’s desire for us to love the Lord God and to show our love for Him in our regular lives. We are His temple, the replacement for the one that was destroyed in Jerusalem. Do you think for one minute that the destruction of the temple took God by surprise? Of course not! He charts the course of history and knew what was going to happen. Yet, He did nothing to stop its destruction. Why not? Because He knew that a better temple would be built, one created by the hands of God and one that can live eternally with Him. We are His temple!