Prayer Temple

2 Chronicles 7: 15

My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.

After Solomon built and sanctified the temple, God made him the above promise. God’s omnipresence and attention would always be in the temple. At the time, that promise would have meant a great deal to the people of Israel. However, we don’t live in Israel. What has it to do with any of us?

The answer for that question is in John 14, verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” The apostle Paul made it clear, “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16 GW). These verses bring 2 Chronicles into sharp focus for our lives today. God’s eyes and ear are always attentive to the prayers offered in His temple and you are His temple.

Do you ever feel like you are praying into a void? Me too! Sometimes it seems like our prayers are cast into a vast silence of brooding space. However, now we know that is not true so how we feel can be overwritten with truth. Last week’s Word of the Day told us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. The point I tried to get across was that we should not let our feelings be the final authority. The same applies here. Though it does not always feel like God is listening, the truth is that He has no choice. He tied Himself to His temple thousands of years ago. Besides that, He loves you and is always attentive to your voice because He loves to hear from you. Still, I like having scripture to stand upon when I am not feeling my strongest. Scripture is solid and reliable.

So, what would you like to pray for today? Father is waiting and listening. Let Him know the desires of your heart.


John 1: 33

He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come “on” someone and that person would perform anointed works. Gideon blew his horn; many prophesied. But the Holy Spirit would lift off them after their task was accomplished. He did not come upon them and remain. The time of the Holy Spirit was not yet.

John the Baptist baptized in water but announced that one was coming after him who would baptize in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3: 11, Mark 1: 8, Luke 3: 16, John 1: 33). He spoke, of course, of Jesus. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, to live with us forever as we saw in John 14: 16. No longer was the Holy Spirit to come “on” us and then vacate. Instead Jesus said that He was going to send the Holy Spirit to be with us forever to be our constant helper, teacher and guide. So now the Holy Spirit has come and made His abode with us. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16). Then in Romans 8, the eleventh verse Paul wrote, “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.” Now we have the Holy Spirit with us, dwelling in us all of the time rather than coming upon us in a time of need. He is here to be your constant standby and He couldn’t do that very well if He had to come and go. So, Jesus sent Him into the world to be with us and to stay with us until Jesus comes back to establish His Kingdom in the earth. We are never abandoned because God has made provision for us to have a divine helper with us at all times.

New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 10

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

First things first, recognize that because of Jesus, you are now the house of Israel, so God is talking about you. There are many other passages, in both the Old and the New Testament, which speak to this new contract. In fact, one can see God’s plan unfold through the whole Bible. I could easily spend an entire week on just this aspect of God’s master plan but I will restrain myself. Just know that He has been putting the pieces in place for thousands of years.

The key here, as I see it, is that God is moving into our hearts. We are stepping into a relationship with God. I really like how this same thought is articulated in the book of Revelations, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21: 7). God’s plan from the beginning and now was to raise a family. It ultimate goal is to have us in intimate, close relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, God was with the Israelites. He led them through the desert in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He had an improvement plan on the drawing board though. In Joel 2: 28 He said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all of you!” This was the foretelling of the New Covenant and the new way people would walk with God. No more is God in the cloud. With this pouring out, He has come to live in us. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16).

God’s word is alive in us. He has come to earth and made a home in our hearts and spirits. No longer do we need to look outward to clouds or to an ark to behold our God. God has come to make His abode with us. We are the new Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has made all of this possible and we should seek God in our hearts and get to know Him as an intimate. He is our God and we are His people but as He has said, we are His children. The New Covenant is the indwelling presence of Almighty God and the intertwining of His spirit and yours. Get wrapped up in Him today.

Present Presence

Habakkuk 2: 20

But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.

This verse brought up a couple of thoughts in me. First, the further we go in our study of the Bible the more we find the connections throughout it. The first sentence in this verse screams of the New Covenant and our place in it, or more specifically God’s place in it. The second sentence reminds me of Psalm 46: 10 which teaches us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (NKJ). Let’s look at today’s verse with the insight it shines on these two thoughts.

First, when Habakkuk wrote these words, the temple of God was a building. Habakkuk was remarking about the presence of the Lord. “The Lord is here, let us be silent and listen to Him,” he might say. How much more potent are these words now that we have become the temple of God. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16 GW). In all of history, in all of time, God has never been more present in the lives of humans than He is right now. While this is true, it is hard for us to understand or have any tangible application of this truth. His presence seems remote to us and because we perceive Him as far off, perhaps just sitting on His throne in heaven, we find it difficult to be still and listen to Him. We have not developed our awareness of His presence. Therefore, we also lack the awareness that He is speaking to us. We don’t need a cloud of His presence going before us day and night because He is in us at all times. We just need to learn how to tap into that which is already true.

The interesting fact about developing the awareness of God with you at all times is to first accept the veracity of these verses that tell us that we are His temple and that He abides with us and in us. Once you do, you begin to look with more enlightened eyes. Just knowing He is there makes us more attentive. Think of it like this. If you have a house guest and you think you hear a voice, aren’t you more likely to perk up your ears because you think your guest may have just spoken to you? When we think of God as far off, then the voice that keeps speaking to us is easily ignored.

Likewise, if you accept that God is speaking to you or wants to, doesn’t the imperative to be still and silent so that you can hear become more sensible? If I told you that tomorrow at 2:00 PM God is going to speak to you, and you believe me, would that affect what you do at 2:00? Of course it would. If you believe that He is here with us and that He wants to speak specifically to you, I think you would attempt to accommodate hearing.

Well, I am telling you that if you want God to speak to you at 2:00 tomorrow, then He will. Would you rather have a 3:00 appointment? The calendar is open. You can have anytime you want. He will be there. Will you show up?

Home Address

John 2: 17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR THY HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”

Today’s passage comes from the story of when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, running out the merchants and money changers. It is a great story; one with which many of you are familiar. I want to put a New Testament spin on it for you today though.

Remember, when Jesus went through the temple overturning the money changers tables, the Old Covenant was still in operation. The new dispensation only came in with Jesus’ victory over death, sin and the grave. Therefore, when the temple was discussed in those times the reference would always have been to the building known as the temple. There is a new message about the temple on this side of the cross.

For we are the temple of the living God,” (2 Corinthians 6: 16). Bearing this verse in mind, reread today’s passage. Now what do you see? You better believe that Jesus is zealous over the temple. Don’t you imagine that when he went through the building in Jerusalem he had you on his mind? This event occurred when he was about to go to the cross. He had been in that temple many times. Never before did he respond to the commerce going on within. Why this time? The answer is that it was because he had you on his mind. He was on his way to the cross to “cleanse the temple.” His outward display in the church that day was a symbol of the cleansing he was about to do through his sacrifice. Jesus was consumed with zeal for God’s house but it was not the brick and mortar building that captivated him. He was consumed with his love for you. It was that love; that consuming, burning love that gave him the strength to endure the cross.

He had his Father’s mind and his Father’s thoughts. He knew the plan and he understood what he and his Father would accomplish through the cross. The real question is, do we? “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16). There is your key for understanding today’s scriptural quote. Because of Jesus’ zeal for you, he endured the cross. He had the end in mind. He wanted to be able to make his abode in you so that he could be with you at all times. You are that which Jesus is zealous for. Let this truth sink into the deep part of your being. Absorb it. You are the temple of God. You are Jesus’ home address.