There are two historical moments in the Old Testament where God asked His people Israel to make a dwelling place for Him. God wanted to dwell among His people and therefore He gave Moses a very detailed plan for the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 and following chapters). He involved His people in the construction.
From the abundance that God had given them, they had to sacrifice to prepare for His abode. The people gave what was needed for it, even more than that, …. ‘sufficient … and more’ (Exodus 36:7). In 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 we see a similar story about the temple that Solomon had to build for God.
God’s spiritual temple
These Old Testament examples show the purpose of God’s provision, namely to build a home for Him. That privilege now applies to all who have been converted to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Conversion in the basic text is translated with the words ‘turn around’ or ‘return’, changing your mind. This means that an end has come to our own way of thinking, our own opinion, our own will. From then on we are prepared to let Him direct and dictate us in all areas of our lives.
Then we may function as living stones of God’s dwelling place here and now, i.e. His temple. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Peter 2:5). A temple being built with us as living stones.
God has determined that those “from all nations, tribes, peoples and languages” must be gathered to complete His ultimate dwelling place (Revelation 7:9).
God provides what is necessary
The completion of His dwelling place will require much more work, effort and resources today than what was needed for Solomon’s temple. If we take seriously our responsibility to spread the gospel among all peoples (Matthew 24:14), then, because of our riches in Christ, we will become active. Out of love for Him and for others!
The biblical authors have tried to describe the riches that we possess in Jesus. They write about “the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19), “joy that is inexpressible” (1 Peter 1:8), “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). “unsearchable riches” (Ephesians 3:8), “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6:38).
God wants to provide us with this wealth, and His provision is in His precious promises “that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature …” (2 Peter 1:4). Those promises are for us as children of God, our inheritance in Christ. We may be “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).
Abounding in good works
According to spiritual law, that inheritance is for us, but to experience that, we must gradually and with perseverance take possession of the promises. The way in which the people of Israel had to take possession of their land was also gradual and not without battles.
Now all promises are available to us by faith “for all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Every promise we receive and apply in accordance with God’s will, in whatever situation or circumstances, that’s how He is glorified! And, from our riches in Christ, we may reflect His glory; filled with the Holy Spirit to express His glory!
The purpose of our riches in Christ is what 2 Corinthians 9:8 says: “…. so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” From that abundance we may build as living stones to complete His dwelling place; to honor Him and love others.
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