Let’s think about what Isaiah meant when he said that we are called to be priests and ministers of our God (Isaiah 61:6). One of the most prominent roles of the priest was to tend to the Temple of God. He was to keep it a clean and pure place. There were many instructions given from the Lord in order to enable the Temple to remain a holy place in which the Spirit could reside. But amazingly, Paul tells us that now we are the temple of God. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The church is not to build a physical temple for now we are the temple! We are to represent the holiness of God.
If you ponder this amazing fact, then you should tremble some with “respectful fear.” People around us are to comprehend the holiness of God through us! “For God’s temple is sacred and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:17). The Lord is calling us to a life of obedience to His Word. Just as He gave the Levite priests specific instructions of how to clean the temple, His Word gives detailed teachings on how we can live a holy life.
Maybe there is an area in which you have been “holding back from God.” You know you are compromising and not walking according to His will. You have come up with many justifications for your disobedience. But the Lord says: “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The phrase “you are not your own” goes smack against the culture around us. How often have you heard the phrase: “It is my body and I have the right to do whatever I want with it!”? The Scripture says quite the opposite. When we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, we die to our rights over our own body. Now we belong to the Lord (1 Peter 2:9-10). We have been bought with the price of Christ’s blood on the cross. Before you pause and think it is too hard to live the Christian life, remember who dwells inside your temple: the Holy Spirit. Pray and ask the Spirit to empower you today to be victorious over sin, to have courage to obey His will, and to be filled with the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16-25).
- Sue Corl (Founder of COBI; read more in her devotional More Beautiful by the Day)