Where God Wants To Live
We know God wants to give us wisdom, to write His law in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. We can claim the promise now as we open His Word:
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Christ urged us to receive His gift of power, His gift to share His love with others by His Spirit. In fact, His Holy Spirit wants to be with us and reveal Christ to us.
" ... and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
When Christ is with us, we don't have to be worried.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:1, 27
God wants us to be at peace. John, in chapter 14, tells how the Father and the Son are united, how Jesus came to us, so we could know His Father and be one with them. He has returned to the Father and yet He still planned to be with us. Jesus explained how He can be both with His Father and with us.
"if you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.... On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."
John 14:15,16, 20
The Spirit (the Counselor) comes, brings us the love of Jesus and writes God's law (His character) in us. The three come to us as One.
Jesus replied, "if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.... But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
John 14:23, 26
As we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we will let God put His commandments within our hearts. We will allow Him to help us obey His law. He is pleased as we desire to be His temple in which His law is to be written by His Spirit. We know the second person of the Godhead (Jesus) took the body of a baby boy for Himself and came to live with us. Now we find that the third person of the Godhead (the Holy Spirit) will live in us if we allow Him to do so.
An Expensive House
Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body.
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
The death of God's only Son was the price paid for each of us. We praise God by allowing His Spirit to live in us and write His laws within. Then the Holy Spirit will reveal God to others through us a tremendous opportunity for praise!
We have been given more powerful promises and warnings which, if followed, will show us how to avoid danger.
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
Earlier we studied about reflecting God's image. God is holy, righteous and good. His law is holy, righteous and good. Did you wonder how writing a holy law in your mind would make you holy? That verse says God (His Spirit) lives right with us. Holiness and goodness are wherever God is present. For this reason, we must be careful of the way we treat our bodies. Those who do not exercise such care are, in effect, finding their own god!
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
But, if we allow God to live within, we can look forward to the coming of Jesus when He will fulfill His promise.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20, 21
Our God is able to transform us! As we allow Him to live in us, He keeps His law written in our hearts. We find that, through Him, we can see the old nature subdued. It is the old nature that craves what is harmful, what would hurt the "house" God has chosen for Himself-our bodies! But our God works in us to subdue those cravings and obsessions.
Following The Builders Instructions
Let's check our Creator's original plan for the care of our bodies.
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."
In the beginning God didn't create mankind to use flesh meat for food. It's always wise to follow a manufacturer's instructions. For example, if a person puts leaded gasoline in a car made for unleaded fuel, it will not function properly-and will, in fact, ruin the catalytic converter. In the same way our Creator instructed us in Scripture concerning the use of healthful and unhealthful (clean and unclean) animals. These animals were first given for human consumption in a time of emergency, just following the flood. (See Genesis chapters 8 & 9.) An adequate supply of fruits, grains, nuts or vegetables was not then available. Years later, details about the animals were listed in the book of Leviticus.
Say to the Israelites: "Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: you may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.
There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them... The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you. Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water-you are to detest. And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you. ...
All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all four that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. ...
These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean,, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten."
God Promises Where He Will Live
We have another powerful promise given many years after Christ, in a statement written by Paul under the influence of God's Spirit.
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate," says the Lord. "Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. 2 Corinthians 6:16, 17
Obviously, if God is to live in us by His Spirit, He will not dwell in something that is unclean! Living and working within us, He will keep us even from "touching" what is unclean. Because He is clean, His presence within us cleanses.
Fermentation, poisonall would make our body temples unsuitable for the pure Spirit of God. He loves us so much that, as we allow Him, He promises to cleanse every area of our lives in order that He may live with us. Here's another powerful promise:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Only if the Holy Spirit dwells in us will we find ourselves turning down even strong temptations such as prostitution and the poison of wine.
My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways, for a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait, and multiplies the unfaithful among men. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!
After All He Did Purchase Us!
When God's Holy Spirit writes His ten commandments within us, He assures us that "You shall not commit adultery," and "You shall not kill." It's a promised assurance that, with Him in us, we shall not do this. Even a slight blurring of our minds with alcohol or other substances could cause a breakdown in our communication with the Holy Spirit. If we determine not to allow this to happen, He will help us avoid, for example, a casual social drink, since research has shown that even a small amount of alcohol does affect the brain.* We want our minds, our emotions, our lives to be united with Christ, by His Spirit, since our body-this expensive house which He purchased-does belong to Him.
But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body.
1 Corinthians 6:17-20
We choose to keep our minds totally clear for communion with God, and to tell others of His love. When we make this choice, He teaches us how to walk with Him by living with us. We are promised that if we choose to let His Spirit dwell in us, we will have life and blessings. The opposite will result if we choose the poison of our own ideas, or our own gods. We only fool ourselves when we think it doesn't really matter whose Spirit is in control.
Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way." This will bring disaster... . All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven.
It is up to us whether He lives in us or not.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life., and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 30:19, 20
With God's Spirit in us, we will avoid all extremes that demonstrate a spirit of pride. Jesus will soon be here in person. We want His Spirit within our bodies now, and we do not want to have our thoughts centered on outside decorations, for example, (or even the absence of them, for that matter).
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. In. stead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3, 4
Centuries ago, God asked Israel to remove their ornaments when there was a question as to whether He would be with them or not. He wanted to be their God. Ornaments representing their pride may have actually come between them and their God.
When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and not one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.'" So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
They wanted God with them, so evidently they removed this barrier of pride at a crucial hour and were spared destruction. A passage familiar to theologians describes Lucifer's change toward evil when he became Satan, God's enemy.
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. Ezekiel 28:17
In contrast to Satan's pride, God's Son, Jesus, lived in a mortal, human body. But He had life in the right perspective.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:2-5
Crowns For US Because Of HIM
True beauty is evidenced when God lives within. At Jesus' second coming God's believers will receive lovely outer bodies, with crowns and all the jewels they could want. At that time the old nature with its false pride will cease to exist. Satan will no longer be able to tempt. And we'll really see the true picture then. Every precious jeweled crown will be laid at Jesus' feet in gratitude, since He alone made it possible for each of us to be there. We'll then have life in focus.
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
So now, in this life, we humbly accept God's offer to be God's dwelling place. We must have His mind, His Spirit, in us to have this kind of thought pattern:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8
God's Spirit really wants to live in us. That's why He advises us on how to prepare for Him. He warns us away from things that unfit our minds for His dwelling now, and for the holy city to come. He wants to dwell in us so we may be safe.
Outside Of Heaven Its Not Worth It
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers,, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
While we are warned away from worldly practices and that which is harmfully fictitious-falsehood-we are promised a blessing if we will accept God's Spirit working His will in us.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Well Actually Meet Him!
This life of ours, God's house, becomes a different kind of place when His Spirit dwells in us. And God promises that the day will come when we won't always have to be resisting the temptations forced upon us by the world around us.
Let's face it, there is pressure. We are even visually stimulated toward evil by what we see as well as hear-whether at newsstands, movies, television, the theater, on the radio, or wherever we might be. We must constantly be on guard. When will our bodies and minds be released from this pressure? With Christ's Spirit within us, He promises to bring it all to a good conclusion. We won't lack what we really need to sustain our life, and we will ultimately see in person the One who now lives with us in Spirit.
He who walks righteously and speaks what is right., who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil--this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.
We shall finally see with our own eyes our God who has lived on this earth as Jesus and who now lives with us by His Holy Spirit.
Special Powerful Promises
With faith-nothing is impossible:
He replied, "... I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
With God-nothing is impossible:
"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37
With belief-nothing is impossible:
"... said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23
With God-all things are possible:
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
With God-all things are possible:
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27
With God-the impossible is possible:
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27
And you will have peace:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Lot your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-8
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*Glen D. Everett, "Brain Damage Starts with
the First Drink' LISTEN, Journal of Better
Living, Vol. 22, No. 12.
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