1 Chronicles 28:11-20
“Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:20, NLT
There is always a battle between fear and faith especially when we are seeking God’s will in our lives. Many of us are spiritually crippled by the Fear of Failure (FOF), Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), and the Fear Of Death (FOD). We are in the midst of a spiritual war “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”1
But the battle belongs to the Lord and our responsibility is simply to worship God – to replace our FOF, FOMO and FOD with the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is not being fearful of God – it is living with the humility of being a child of God and the awe of God’s sovereignty over everything that happens in our lives. The fear of the Lord is the spirit of surrender that allows God to renovate our hearts. In Christ, I am a child of God as a spiritual being. I am born again with a soul – the physical manifestation of my spiritual being – in which my will, attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and feelings are alive to God.2 When I surrender my life to God, He will build a living sanctuary for the Holy Spirit in my soul that is deep within my heart.3
King David encouraged his son, Solomon, to build the Temple of the Lord as God’s sanctuary. David told Solomon to be strong and courageous in his faith that God is with him and not to be afraid or discouraged by his fears.4 The Temple was a place for the people of Israel to experience the Presence of God. In the Temple, there was an Ark of the Covenant containing the two tablets of the Ten Commandments and the Manna,5 the altar and the lamps.
To be a living sanctuary is to create a space in our hearts where we can have a transformational instead of a transactional relationship with God – a space to put God first in our lives and to be aware of His Presence. The physical Temple of Jerusalem provides us with a template to be a living sanctuary so that we will be C.A.L.M. in the midst of our fears:
C – the Ark of the Covenant symbolizes our calling to be ministers of God’s new Covenant – that we are God’s beloved and we are to be His channels of love to others
A – the Altar challenges us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices on the altar of our hearts – to surrender our wills to God.
L – the lamps draw attention to our need for the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our heart to see God’s loving Presence in our fears and to listen and understand God’s Word.
M – the Manna reminds us of our need for God’s grace every day.
We need a heart of worship to stand firm in the battle against evil. To be steadfast in my faith, I need to deepen the roots of love in my heart.6 To deepen the roots of love, I need to open the eyes of my heart to listen and understand God’s Word. To open the eyes of my heart, I need a heart of worship. To have a heart of worship, I need to be a living sanctuary for the Holy Spirit.
There are spiritual forces of evil that seek to draw us away from God’s love. The best way to face and overcome these spiritual forces of evil is to be a living sanctuary. When I am a living sanctuary for the Holy Spirit, the light of Christ will lead me in every part of my life.
In troubled times I need to calm down to hear God’s whispers of love calling me to rest. I need C.A.L.M. – to minister God’s new Covenant of Love, to offer myself as a living sacrifice on the Altar of my heart, to light the Lamp of faith in my heart and to feed on God’s Manna daily – in order to transform my fears to faith. I need to pray and ask the Lord to prepare me to be a living sanctuary:
“Lord prepare me
To be a sanctuary
Pure and holy
Tried and true
And with thanksgiving
I’ll be a living
Sanctuary, oh for You”7
Lord, help me to have a heart of worship that my life may be ablaze with holiness.
1. What are the mental and emotional clutter in my heart that needs to be cleared?
2. What does it mean to be a living sanctuary for the Holy Spirit?
3. How does being a living sanctuary help me to overcome sin and evil?
Song of Praise
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
1. Ephesians 6:12, NET
2. Trina McNeilly wrote in Unclutter Your Soul: “When I was growing up, my dad taught me that “I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.” (page 7)
3. Inspired by following comment by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing……You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” page 172
4. 1 Chronicles 28:20, NLT
5. Exodus 16:31, NLT
6. Ephesians 3:17, NLT
7. Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary