Emanuel - God With Us And In Us

Do you characterize and treat your body as a house or hotel when considering the Holy Spirit? Are you operating under hotel management, treating the Holy Spirit as a visitor and missing out on so many blessings? Or are you a house, home, and Temple of the Holy Spirit where God is comfortable and can counsel you on a daily basis from His Throne in the Living Room of your heart?

1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?"

We are extremely mobile now-a-days and the Hebrew people were no strangers to mobility either. God’s presence also moved – from tent to tabernacle to temple. The theme of lives in motion is not new. Although God had conditions that had to be met by the Hebrew people for counsel with His Presence (Exodus 25:8-9 and Exodus 26; Exodus 40), the message is that God desired to commune or tabernacle with His people and He did that through the display of His presence wherever they went.

As time passed, the display of God's presence within the community of His people faded. It did not help that God's people kept entering into a cycle of rebellion - repentance - restoration - rebellion again. They asked for kings to rule over them like other nations around them and God granted their request.

However, one of their kings had it on his heart to bring God's presence back into the picture. King David had it on his mind to build a Temple for God in Jerusalem. But, because David was a man who shed so much blood, a man of war, the responsibility for construction of The Temple fell to his son - Solomon.

The difference with Solomon’s temple and all other previous dwellings for God is that now the presence of God is "stationary". Yes, God is everywhere (omni-present). He made all things, is in all things and holds all things together. However, the manifest, counseling presence of God in those days was no longer nomadic, His presence was found in a magnificent Temple.

Fast-forward a few years and we arrive at the point where Christ set the imagery for our bodies as the Temple of God -

"Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.' They replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?' But the temple he had spoken of was his body." (John 2:19-21)

Paul, in his first letter to the believers in Corinth, stressed the importance of viewing your body as the home of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says,

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

And three chapters later, Paul re-enforces this point when he states in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 -

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Many Christians know this 1 Cor. 6:19 verse and believe in the meaning it conveys. But I am betting that many, like me, read this verse and take in its meaning as head knowledge only. If we all really applied this message and all the implications that are packaged with it, believers in Christ could be more empowered, more filled with the Holy Spirit, more in line with God's will for our lives.

If you read this verse backwards you'll realize that after you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior you get the benefit of the Holy Spirit moving into your being - hence the "whom you have received from God" and "who is in you" part of the verse. Then you get a very critical question - "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit"?

When Paul wrote these words, he was addressing the believers in the church at Corinth on sexual immorality. However, now-a-days there are a lot more pollutants to our "temple". 

Considering that the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer and makes the Christian body His home after accepting Jesus as LORD, every part of the body that acts as an input (eyes, nose, mouth/tongue, ears) must be guarded with extreme caution. The old adage "garbage in garbage out" comes to mind here. If we truly believe we have the Holy Spirit living within us, then we will want to consult Him about everything that comes into and goes out of the "Temple" or our body.

Instead of viewing or treating our bodies as a hotel for the Holy Spirit to be a visitor or guest that comes and goes, our bodies should be His Temple, the permanent dwelling place of His presence. So, "If you've been dealing with a poor self-image, grab hold of this truth, because this is the greatest self-image booster that exists! Inwardly you are so beautiful and magnificent that Almighty God wanted to live inside you! What kind of home do you think God would require? A shabby shack made of dirt and sticks? No! He has built for Himself a beautiful temple within your heart - and that is who you are right now! Now live like the magnificently decorated cathedral of God's Spirit that you are!" (Renner, Gems, p.116)

However, God’s incredible faithfulness does not give us the license to neglect the upkeep of The Temple or our body. All believers in Christ are Traveling Temples of powerful effect. Like vehicles with features different from each other, but with the same kind of fuel that runs it - so it is with the believer in Christ that all bodies and their gifts are not alike, but the Spirit that controls them is the same (1 Corinthians 12:4-5).

So, we live out of our cars, but as Christians do we live out of our Traveling Temples? Mobile homes and RVs have many features that are utilized every day by their users without a second thought. Are we as Christians consciously utilizing our gifts and talents that have been given with our "new body"? Returning to Moses' relationship with God - Moses cried out a plea to God that I believe all believers in Christ should echo today and throughout eternity -

“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16)

Your car is mobile. Your RV is mobile. And according to Scripture your body is the temple and home of God, mobile, powerful and effective for His kingdom purposes. I encourage you to clean your vehicle/body out, check the God-given features/gifts you possess and answer honestly – who lives and rules within this body, this temple? The best answer is Emmanuel – God With Us And In Us.