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In the last chapters of the book of Ezekiel, Israel is in exile and the prophet Ezekiel is given a detailed vision of the restoration of the temple and Israel (chapters 40-48). In 47:8 there is a description of water flowing from the temple into the Dead Sea. The result is that “the salty water there becomes fresh.” Verse 9 tells us that “where the river flows everything will live.”

This is a compelling picture of how God’s living water brings life to formerly dead things. Because of the water from the temple of God, plants bear fruit for food and “leaves for healing (verse 12).” As believers in Jesus Christ we can do the same for people in our lives. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them (John 7:38).” 

In the course of our day we can let living water flow from the temple within us (1 Cor. 3:16)  to touch people we encounter with the Spirit of God. We can bring fresh water to people who are wading through the saltwater swamps and marshes of life (Ezekiel 47:9-11).

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What if Solomon had tried to build the temple of God on his own with no help? There is no way he could have completed the project on his own. The same is true today when it comes to building our life as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Instead of relying on others in the body of Christ, too often we treat temple-building as a do-it-yourself project.

In 1 Kings 5:5, Solomon declares, “I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the name of The Lord my God, as The Lord told my father David (NIV).” In order to accomplish this task, Solomon did not just direct the construction, he also relied on resources and other people to help him complete the temple. 1 Kings chapter 5-6 details the thousands of people and extensive resources required to complete the temple in seven years. As 1 Kings 6:38 tells us, “…the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications.”

Solomon precisely followed God’s plan and did not attempt to create his own plans or try to complete construction by himself. But that is only the beginning. God provides further instruction in 1 Kings 6:12-13 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws, and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and I will not abandon Israel.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 reminds us that we are the temple of the living God. Building our lives as a temple is not a do-it-yourself project. We need to follow God’s plan for our life and rely on the people and resources God makes available to us in order to mature in our faith. In this way, others will know that God’s Spirit dwells in our midst (1 Cor. 3:16). As 1 Kings 6:12-13 reminds us, we must follow God’s decrees, observe his laws, and keep His commands in order to create a space in our hearts for the living God.

As Genesis 12:2-3 reminds us, God’s intent in making Israel a great nation was so that others could be blessed by the living God. He provided them with detailed instructions to become that great nation. Likewise, God has plans for our life to become the temple of the living God, not just for our own benefit, but so that others will be blessed by God.

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