The Indwelling Lord

“And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10–11, NKJV).

Picture the scene here: Solomon is dedicating and consecrating the temple to the Lord after seven long years of devoted and hard construction. It was David’s desire to build a house for the Lord (1 Kings 8:18, ESV) but God chose Solomon to build it for Him.

There is something that has always struck me, however, and that is the fact that we Christians treat so lightly the fact that this same event that occurred in the Lord’s descent upon the temple is the same thing that occurs when God Sovereignly saves an individual. The modern church preaches to “give God a chance to dwell in your heart,” but, do we realize what we are saying? Even Solomon had a problem grasping this coming of the Lord upon a man-made temple, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27, ESV). We are talking about the Master of the Universe using his own volition to manifest Himself on Earth to sinful and corrupt men. This was a most solemn moment. Imagine the terror that filled Solomon and Israel as they watched the Shekinah glory descend upon the temple. God Himself was coming down upon them! Solomon begs God to listen to his plea, “that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive” (1 Kings 8:29-30, ESV).

Notice the first reaction of Solomon: a plea for mercy and forgiveness. This is the very first thing that should be on a Christian’s mouth. We cannot stand sinful in front of a Most Holy God. We have no merit that He may look upon and favor. We have nothing but sin in ourselves. Before this we tremble and seek mercy. 

The Lord is Holy, and if you are saved, the Most Holy God dwells in you. Do not take that lightly. Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians expounds on what regenerative work God has made in those He saves. The context is talking about how no “sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, ESV). And how we have been “washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV). We were putrid and dead before God regenerated our nature so we could hear His calling unto salvation. Paul asks a rhetorical question with disbelief and with a very great sense of urge in v.19, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” He adds, to the Corinthians further embarrassment (with the purpose of exhorting them unto the right way, not just to put them down) that “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV).

It is a life of war, that of the Christian, and a life of ongoing enemy fire. Let us remember hereafter who dwells inside us. Not the docile Jesus preached today, but the Majestic, Sovereign, Just, Merciful, and Holy Lord. I should tremble at the mention of God dwelling inside me…how can that be?! My mind will never comprehend that. It is beyond my finite understanding. But let us live holy lives. Let us “walk the walk and talk the talk.”

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