You are the Temple of God
The Pandemic stinks. There I said it. It is out there and I am not taking it back.
I know the Lord is using all the things of the past year for His good. I am certain He is preparing the world for receiving His Gospel. I have personally grown in my faith in unexpected ways. So I do understand that God is working and we will see His glory through it.
Yet, it still is an extremely challenging and painful time. God declared from the beginning that it was not good for man to be alone. Isolation and loneliness are hard for people. These are the most common outcome of the social distancing measures across the globe. Many Christians are struggling mightily as a result. Working in your pajamas is fun for a while, I get that. It is also understandable to take precaution during a disease outbreak. I do understand the reasons for it. It is just hard. The Christian church is meant to be gather as one body. Not doing so can also leave you vulnerable to the Pandemic slow fade. This is when you lose sight of your vital mission in this lost world. It is when a Christian lose the focus of their faith and reason for existing in the midst of the daily drudgery of the Covid life. The joy of the Lord just gradually slips away in monotony of every day. Where once there was a blazing bonfire of faith and Spirit, all that remains are a few sparks.
How do you combat this? If circumstances don’t look like they are changing right now, how do you avoid the Pandemic blues pulling your faith down?
It starts with not losing sight of your purpose. You are not here to get results. You are not here to build a building or a following. You are not here to do or achieve according to an organizational standard. You are not here to feel emotional during a spirited worship service. You are here to be a child of God who trusts and glorifies Jesus – in person, online, on zoom, in good or in bad…wherever you are and whatever the circumstances. You remain filled with the Holy Spirit, God Himself. He is calling you to walk by Him and shine. You will do the work of the Lord no matter the circumstances – if you trust Him. You still have a great and important purpose, even if you don’t understand it right at this moment. You are the Temple of God. You have the Words of Life.
You are actually more vital now then ever due to all those who are struggling just like you are but don’t have Jesus.
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Solomon’s Slow Fade
Have you ever wondered what happened to Solomon?
He was the son of the great King David. He was chosen to sit on the throne of God’s people, Israel. He had everything going for him for a great life as a servant of God. His first calling was an awesome one as well. It was to build God’s Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon jumped into his role with zeal. Building the house of the Lord took many years and much hard work. Solomon hit his peak at the dedication of the Temple. Read 1 Kings 8-9 to see Solomon at his best. He saw fire from heaven descend and consume the sacrifices offered. He watched the glory of God fill the Temple. It is a great moment of faith for a man who is doing God’s work beautifully. You expect it to continue for the rest of his life since Solomon is so clear on his job for the Lord. Yet, by the end of his life, Solomon is worshipping Molech while having 700 wives and 300 concubines. This is not even close to good.
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What in the world happened?
Solomon fell victim to the ancient version of the slow fade. He is a clear example of the dangers of loss of focus one his true identity and mission. He allowed temptations, boredom, and challenges of life to pull his eyes away from God and onto himself and his circumstances. This is not what God wants for any of us.
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Solomon is faced with a big challenge in building the Temple. The Temple is a huge project involving thousands of workers and vast resources. This is a tough job. Yet, intense work on a clearly defined goal can be easier to sustain for God in some ways. When you have a tangible job that shows obvious physical progress and milestones, it is not hard to stay motivated. Solomon had a satisfying daily project as he directed construction. His role and successes were crystal clear.
He was God’s King building God’s building.
How enjoyable it must have been planning each day’s labor and then directing the laborers. How joyful it had to be as the courtyards were constructed and instruments forged. Daily work for the Lord followed by immediate rewards. You can understand Solomon’s joy and praises to the Lord at its completion. The Temple was a huge undertaking and wonderful victory. Solomon gets lost in it, though. Once he does not have the physical signs of his work in front of him, the actual stone built up, Solomon forgets his actual job. The work of a servant is never about a physical building. It is always about the spiritual Kingdom of God. Faithfulness is so much easier, though, when you can see the physical fruit of your labor.
Called to Build a Temple of God
Solomon was still building the Temple of God. He was still the shepherd of God’s people. He remained seated in authority and given great resources throughout his life to carry out his job. He is still all these things after the Temple is finished. He was just called by God to do his job now in a different way. Just as you are right now.
You are all the important things Solomon was, but way more!
Have you thought about how God defined you?
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6
Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. You are a chosen generation. You are a royal priesthood. You are God’s own special people. You are loved by God as His child. Isn’t it glorious!
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Does you feel these are true as you are trying to figure out what day of the week it is? Do you feel like a royal priest as you are not even able to gather with all of your church family and worship? Do you feel connected to that chosen generation and holy nation since you haven’t seen many of them for the past year? Of course your answer is going to be no sometimes. Your emotions are greatly affected by your circumstances. Your heart is wicked and deceptive.
They are all still you, though. God does not change.
Your emotions are understandable and real. They are just reflecting your heart and not God’s. This is why the Pandemic stinks in so many ways. The truth is you are still loved, cherished, connected, and important. You still are a hugely important of the Body of Christ – we can’t do the work of God as intended by God without you. You still are building God’s real Temple on earth – your own faith and the Body of Christ – it just looks different than before March 2020.
Temptation Crouches at Your Door
Do you understand you are subject to same temptation that pulled down Solomon? The Pandemic removed many of the physical and emotional supports you rely upon as a Christian. The jobs you love so much like serving and witnessing are more infrequent. The people you love and are encouraged by – other Christians – are scarcer. Some of the roles God calls us to as Christians are harder to accomplish. Simply sharing the Gospel or encouraging others can be more challenging in this time of social distancing. You can feel like Solomon. That the big, important job is done and all that is left is monotonous work without returns. This could not be further from the truth.
We are not working to construct a building of man. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the enemies of God. We work together as God’s family to build His real Temple – you and I and the church collectively. We are born again into a better royal family as sons and daughters of God. We are made heirs to the greater King, the One who sits on the Throne of Heaven and Earth. We have a so much greater job to do. No earthly challenge will stop that work or take away its eternal importance. We are the only salt and the only light many in this world will taste and see.
I would encourage you now if you are facing the temptation to fade or if your fire is already down to sparks to understand this truth. God is not challenged by this past year – pandemic, politics, and division. He is working and He wants you to do so as well. You are loved. You are important.
So are you willing to trust Him and fix your eyes on Him despite what your heart is telling you? Are you will have to get creative in figuring out how to do your job?
People need you. It is not good for man to be alone.