God’s perfect timing …

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 6:1-7:12 & John 5:16-47

How timely that we find ourselves at this stage in the history of our own church, deep in the passages of 1 Kings where Solomon is building the much awaited temple. This passage about the dwelling place where God would meet with His people is the focus of our FDR, at the very time we as a church community, in July 2016, are celebrating the finalisation on the loan of our own church facility.

For the past 16 years, the leadership at FAC have constantly sought to remind us that our facility has never been about a ‘physical building’ of bricks and mortar. But rather, our building has always been about a place that would be a ‘home base’ for God’s people to gather; a place that would provide a platform for God to work through His people to build His Kingdom through the faithful ministry of a people who seek to have an expanding influence on their city and the nations, with the hope and love of Jesus.

For the people of God during the leadership of Solomon, the building of the temple took a significant time to build … 7 years.

‘The foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to the specifications. He had spent seven long years building it.’  6:37-38

Without taking a breath, we then in the next verse, read about how long, and the process it took to build Solomon’s palace; his home versus the home of the Almighty God.

‘It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.’  1 Kings 7:1

First reaction … honest reflection … too big, too long in time and obviously too opulent even for a King and his extended family in comparison to the temple for God; the place where multitudes would gather to worship the almighty God.

Surely God’s dwelling place should have been given a higher level of focus and priority than the earthly king at the time?

But like Solomon, we too are reminded of WHO and WHAT the building is for ….

Bottom line … the building of a building never guarantees God’s ‘ presence’ …

For Solomon it was about obedience to God, and for us … obedience to God …

The word of the Lord came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep my commands and obey them, I will fulfil through you the promise I gave to David your father.” 1 Kings 6:12

Paul in his letters to the Corinthians reminds them and us today, that our very bodies are far more precious than bricks and mortar as a dwelling place – that they … we are living temples. God might have brought the Israelites out of slavery into the promised land, but through Christ, He bought us.

Don’t you know that you yourself are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ 1 Cor 3:16

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 honour God with your body. 1 Cor 6:19

And in re-reading the passage, I am reminded that although Solomon’s living quarters exceeded in size God’s dwelling place, the writer gives a greater level of emphasis to describing the temple than he does the accommodation of a human ruler. How easy it is to get caught up in comparing the fairness of size.

In the same way, our perspective must always be more about how spectacular our amazing God is, rather than being distracted by anything this world might offer in physical grandeur.

My prayer … Heavenly Father, continue to lift my gaze beyond the physical of this world to see beyond the ‘bricks and mortar’ of life, to that which has eternal consequences. Amen

KD

 

 

 

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One thought on “God’s perfect timing …

  1. Thank you Karen. I was reminded of the Heidelberg Catechism whilst reading your comment. Not something that I’ve ever heard said whilst at FAC – 10 or Fuse. For those who are unfamiliar with its content, its quite beautiful – I shall write it down.

    Question 1: WHAT IS YOUR ONLY COMFORT IN LIFE AND DEATH?

    Answer That I am not my own but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.
    He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father i Heaven; in fact all things must work together for my salvation.
    Because I belong to Him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

    I have been bought with a great price. It cost God His one and only Son. So that needs to be at the forefront of my mind each and every day. So with the Holy Spirit living inside of me – if I’ve come to Jesus in repentance and in faith – because God only give His Spirit to genuine Christians and only He sees the heart of a person – this is a wonderful reminder to look after my body in a way that honours Christ. A friend gave up smoking because she realised that now the Holy Spirit was living in her and she didn’t want to breath in smoke any more. Another will stop watching porn because the indwelling Holy Spirit will grow a desire for holy living and a deep fear of the Lord knowing that nothing is hidden from Gods eyes. Someone else will decide to only eat healthy because of this new understanding that the Holy Spirit now indwells the believer. A newly converted couple will now no longer choose to live together, they will get married and wait – till they are married – before God, to have intercourse.

    May we become very tuned in to the Umpire that lives in our hearts. And learn to obey His leading no matter the cost. May we give Him permission to keep us on a very short leash so we can be quick to repent every time we sin and enjoy close fellowship with Jesus and one another.

    I read or heard this the other day – i can’t remember where or who. But – when we walk into church on a Sunday with a congregation that have lived lives that week in holiness and in godliness that there will be such a strong presence of the Lord in that place the whole atmosphere will be different. How I long for that.

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