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Editor’s Note — This post originally published July 8, 2013.

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.

© 2013 CGThelen

David had it in his heart to build a dwelling place for God. Psalm 132:3-5 expresses this desire:

“I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob (NIV).”

Yet David never built the temple. God left that task to David’s son Solomon. It reminded me of the deep desire I have to build a temple for the Lord within the people I know who have not accepted Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst.” I want them to experience the joy of the Lord; to experience the peace that comes from the Spirit of God dwelling within. Yet like David, sometimes God tells me “no,” that someone else will build it and I will not see it in my lifetime.

That does not stop me from praying for the people God places in my life. I continue to try to sow seeds, praying at some point they will sprout and grow with deep roots, yielding “a crop, a hundred times more than was sown (Luke 8:8);” hoping they will build a dwelling place for the Spirit of God within their heart.

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

© 2019 CGThelen

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