The day was hot and the trail was full of dust. It was a choking brume that coated the barren landscape. They had seen the other side, looked upon the green and verdant hills. Yet they had been afraid, unwilling to believe. So they were turned away, cast out and sent to wander, an aimless juncture even as their faith was led astray. How long would this exile last? How long must they endure?
Until they had passed beyond reach, until every last one who had rejected was gone. Even so, hope remained for those that came after. They would one day see those same green and verdant hills. Yet would the new generation believe? Would they find inside themselves what was needed to have faith, to trust?
Only time would tell…
As we look back to this episode, we can glean lessons for our own lives. Do we have faith? Do we believe? Are we able to trust in the wake of what appears to be insurmountable odds? What does it take to be led by God?
Let us return to the story.
So we see the Children of Israel wandering for forty years in the Wilderness—
searching for the Promised Land
And why were they sent to wander in the Wilderness—they disobeyed God.
They forgot that God was with them, that He had guided them and helped them. They lost faith. They knew better than God, after all, the evidence showed that giants lived in the land. What could they do about giants? They were mere people. But they forgot that the Lord traveled with them.
You see sin cannot enter into the Promised Land.
Yet, God said to them, “You don’t have to go it alone. I will show you the way, only you must follow me.”
“Firstly, you must build Me a Sanctuary (Ex. 25:8) that I may dwell among you.”
“Not a Sanctuary of your design, you must make the Sanctuary in the way that I tell you. I will instruct you. Then I will show you the way to the Promised Land. All you need do is follow Me.”
I tell you—
We are the children of Israel; this world is the Wilderness.
Heaven is the Promised Land
And we need to build God a Sanctuary so that He may live among us.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:3
But first we need to understand what a Sanctuary is—for how can we build if we do not know of what we build?
According to Webster’s Dictionary it is a consecrated place, set apart for God’s service.
A hallowed place, a holy place, a dwelling place for God
The habitation of God through the Spirit
The Temple of the Old Testament typified Christ’s dwelling by faith in the hearts of believers.
- Our bodies are the Temple of God and are designed for worship
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3: 16
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:10-12
Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20
2. Our bodies are the place where God dwells
God is holy and cannot live in an unclean house.
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.1 Corinthians 3: 17
3. Our bodies are sacred
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:14.
4. Our bodies do not belong to us
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? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
If we received the truth in our hearts, we will honor Him in our bodies.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Does everything we do and say glorify God?
We need to say as Jesus did, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
We cannot have two masters. We cannot go our way and follow after God’s way at the same time.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
Remember, wherever we go, whatever we do, God is with us.
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
2 Corinthians 6:16
We do not have to be afraid. We can trust in our Redeemer, who dwells within us. His way is always the best way. Only have faith and follow Him, no matter what giants may stand before us. The Promised Land awaits.
So Lord, I pray, make me Your Sanctuary …