I have to say what an honor it is living on Sanibel, a sanctuary island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, and a place so abundantly filled with the presence of precious wildlife, where even the majestic American Bald Eagle—once on the brink of extinction—now thrives and lives. But how much more of an honor, that the creator of those eagles, the creator of the Universe chooses to put His very Spirit not high up in some tree, or in the stars, or the moon, but in us!
I’ve always believed and accepted the blueprint, that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. And growing up in a Christian school, we were told this. But to me, it simply meant, can’t do this and can’t do that with regard to our physical bodies. It wasn’t until I spent a year reading through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that I started to grasp the awe-inspiring significance of what it really means to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.
I was overwhelmed by how ever-present God is, and He tells us exactly where He puts His presence here on Earth. In times of old, it was with His people in a tent, then in a moveable tabernacle. I was blown away as I read in Exodus all the instructions, exact dimensions and intricate details He gave to Moses for putting together the tabernacle. He was so particular about it, and cared about its every detail inside and out, and no wonder, it was to be the physical house of His presence on Earth back then.
After that, God put His presence in a temple—Solomon’s temple. This wasn’t just a place where His people went to learn and worship. It was a place where God was especially present! When Solomon’s temple was destroyed, it got rebuilt and God’s presence showed up in greater splendor when Jesus entered the temple.
Jesus is now in Heaven with God, His father. Before He left, He told his disciples He is going but sending a gift—the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him. So today, there is no tent, nor tabernacle, nor temple made of stone. There is us—we are the temples of the Holy Spirit!
“You are the temple. Not a temple made of stone but it’s us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us.”—1 Corinthians 3:16
It’s in us, those who accept the work of Jesus on the cross that God chooses to have His Spirit residing here on Earth. Adorned in mercy and grace, we are walking temples of the Holy Spirit, beautifully, wisely and purposefully designed by God, our master architect.
Does it ever feel to you as if the Holy Spirit is on the brink of extinction in your life, that hardly do you ever spot so much as a glimpse of His presence, or hear any spiritual stirrings at all? Do you want to feel the presence of God in your life, and His Spirit dwelling in you?
Don’t worry. The Spirit of God in this world is nowhere near the brink of extinction! Being a temple, a sanctuary, that place here on Earth where the Holy Spirit takes up residency does require a surrendering, a handing over of the interior floor plans we’ve drafted for ourselves. It’s about restoring our lives to God, our master architect, who impeccably crafted us in the first place to be thoughtfully functional and remarkably durable by living intimately in His presence.
And just as he cared about the particulars of the tabernacle, and later, every last specification both outside and inside the temple where He also put His presence, no doubt he cares about you, too, your insides, your outsides and all the intricate particulars of your life, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.