God is to be worshiped in His Holy Temple. David longed to build one for Him but was forbidden from doing so by God Himself (1 Chronicles 28:2, 3). His son, Solomon built His temple (1 Kings 5-8). We have beautiful structures today all over the world which we call churches where people gather together for the purpose of worship. Of course, a church is essential but time and again God has said that He cannot be contained in any man made structure but instead prefers to reside in our hearts. If, indeed, He is to reside in there, how much importance do we give to it? Do we even spend half the time and effort we take to beautify our churches for our hearts?
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Here, a different kind of temple has been spoken of by Paul – ourselves, our bodies. Something that we often tend to forget. No matter how big or beautiful our physical churches may be, if our hearts are not in the right place, God can’t be kept in there. We are to offer ourselves as a temple for Him to reside in. But is it fit for the King of Kings? It says clearly in verse 17, His temple is Holy for He Himself is Holy and there is no place for filth and dirt to dwell there. And if His temple is defiled, He will destroy it because He shows no tolerance to sin.
What happened when Jesus entered the temple and saw what was going on in there.
Mathew 21: 12, 13
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
He drove them out. He didn’t tell them that they could sell and do their stuff in one corner and that He would worship God in another corner. NO. He told them in plain words to get out. Why was that? If He tolerated sin, He would have tolerated them. But there is no place even for the tiniest speck of dirt in Him. God loves His children but He never tolerates or ignores the sin they do. This is because He wants us to be faithful and true to Him (sin keeps us separated from Him).
Now, let’s come back to 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, we are the temple of God. God has to reside in our hearts. But is it fit for Him? You cannot expect to store the junk of this world and tell God to stick to a corner of your heart. No. It doesn’t happen that way. He wants to have full access to our hearts. He wants to fully partake in our lives. Make sure to throw away anything which is still sticking onto you which is not worthy to be shown in front of the Lord of Lords. After all, we are His temple and we need to set our hearts and lives in order to receive Jesus into it. God bless.