Do you know who are you? You are not purposeless. You are not insignificant. You are not average. No way—you are the temple of God himself, a far more precious and glorious home of the presence of God than even the holy structure Solomon erected. Solomon’s temple pales in comparison to you. Seriously! That is who you are—you new identity in Christ. So live like it!
Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 9:2-7
The Lord said to Solomon, “I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations. Then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name.
It took twenty years for Solomon to complete two of his major work projects—his palace, which was beyond spectacular, and more importantly, the temple, which housed the glorious presence of the Lord. And while we don’t know exactly what the temple looked like since the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it some 400 years later (keep that in mind—God is under no obligation to protect his holy places when his people persist in unholy living, cf. 1 Kings 9:6-10), it must have been magnificent, knowing the brilliant Solomon’s architectural achievements—impressive even by modern standards. But as jaw dropping as the building was, even that compared to God’s presence that inhabited the place as it was dedicated, which you can read about in 1 Kings 8.
When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord. (1 Kings 8:10-11)
While the temple certainly was equal to the Hellenistic list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, What made it so special wasn’t Solomon’s engineering brilliance or the building’s awe-inspiring beauty, it was the presence of the Lord. And what added to the inspiration of his presence was the certainty of his promise:
I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. (1 Kings 9:3)
Fast-forward to your life and mine today. Do you realize that Solomon’s temple in all its splendor has been replaced? Replaced by what? Not by what, but by whom. You—as a follower of Jesus Christ, who is the complete revelation of God’s presence, the fulfillment of his promise, and the expression of his power—are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. That is who you are, and me too, together with every other surrendered follower of Jesus: We are God’s temple. That is what the Apostle Paul says,
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:13)
Now the implications of that are huge. Not the least of which is the fact of your redeemed identity. You are not purposeless. You are not insignificant. You are not average. No way—you are the temple of God himself, a far more precious and glorious home of the presence of God than even the holy structure Solomon erected. Solomon’s temple pales in comparison to you. Seriously!
That is who you are—you new identity in Christ. So live like it!
Having trouble grasping that truth? My guess is yes! So I am praying this prayer for you today:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
By God’s sovereign grace, you are a wonder to behold.