“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” -1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)
There is something sublime about old cathedrals. Whenever I enter one, I am always reminded of whose presence I am entering into and what my position is in relation to Him. I am going before a holy and righteous God who loves justice and hates sin. The only reason why I stand before Him is not because of any merit I have gained on my own to earn the right to be in His presence, but of my acceptance of the fact that I need Christ to continue to work in my life and free myself from my sinful nature. The idea behind an impressive cathedral was to remind people that they were entering before the presence of a holy God and to make themselves humble before Him. It is true that Christ is our Friend, but it is equally true that He is the Lord and Master of our lives who requires that we obey Him if we truly want to be free from the consequences of wrong choices. But we do not need to go into a cathedral to be reminded of this fact. The church is not a building, but it is in the hearts of those who have allowed Christ to take permanent residency.
Since we bear God’s Spirit, we need to actively seek to sanctify our hearts in order to make it a home fitting for the holy and righteous nature of the Spirit that has taken command over the center of our lives. This means making a lot of tough decisions that will place oneself at odds with our old sinful nature. Inappropriate thoughts and words, destructive addictions and habits, all of these are outward manifestations of issues that need to be addressed and dealt with in order to make ourselves worthy of being God’s living temple. But we cannot sanctify ourselves on our own. If we could, what would be the necessity of God coming down to Earth? We need to constantly swallow our pride and humble ourselves before God so that He may continue His redemptive mission in our lives. As our Father, He is always there to help his children in their struggles and gently prod them towards the path of life and true happiness. May we continue to ask God to help us clean our hearts and be careful of what we let into them. The source of all actions is our hearts, and we must take great care in making sure our hearts are pure so that Christ and who He is may be reflected when we come into contact with others.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.