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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people ~ Jeremiah 31:33

When I first began sharing the messages the Lord laid on my heart a very wise man shared with me from his own experience. 

"Any message," he told me, "is firstly for the messenger".  And I have found that to be true.  I'd actually be perfectly happy not to share.  I don't like what happens around me spiritually when the Lord gets in my ear.  I am always amazed by Jonah!  How on earth did that man resist the pressure of the Holy Spirit bearing down on him?! 

I struggled with Haggai.  I really, really did.  No, the study itself wasn't difficult & the things the Lord was impressing on my spirit were not difficult ~ but boy, oh boy! did the spiritual realms have a conniption!  I still never get why it bothers but bother it did & consequentially this household had a somewhat rough & rocky week.  At the end of it I breathed a sigh of relief but the Lord was not done with me yet.

See, there was one phrase that just stuck in my craw & wouldn't go away. Haggai is getting a little wild & woolly around the edges with a real head of steam on him & then he lets rip with this: " The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house!"   Now I know, how could I not, that Haggai was talking firstly about the second temple ~ but, & it is the hugest but, he was talking about something else as well.  If you want to know how I reached my conclusion please read the other post but what Haggai was talking about too is the New Testament temple, the temple made of the living stones that are you & I.

And I have been thinking about that.  See  Solomon's temple was something else.  It cost the savings of one man's lifetime & then some.  It put Solomon in debt to Lebanon because the temple cost something like a cool 20 million! It was built of limestone to dazzle in the harsh middle eastern light. It was lined with imported Lebanon cedar, cedar that Israel didn't grow, intricately carved, inlaid & overlayed with gold.  And there was an inner sanctuary known as the Holy of Holies, a room that only the High Priest could enter.  In Jesus day the High Priest only entered once a year on the Day of Atonement.  The room was completely bare except for one thing: the ark of the covenant ~ & in the ark of the covenant lay the 2 clay tablets with the 10 commandments inscribed on them. The floor, the walls, the ceiling were overlaid with gold. The holy of holies is where God's shekinah , His glory nimbus, rested.  All this the Israelites lost when Babylon carried them off into captivity & they were never to see its like again.

Now this is what I have been thinking about because the Lord says He will refine us like gold & the way to know when impurities are gone from the gold is when you can see your reflection in it.  He says He will raise up a people who will have His Law written on their hearts.  He says He will take away their hearts of stone & give them hearts of flesh.  And so you see, I know that we are the latter house whose glory is greater than the former.  We are the holy of holies wherein dwells God's shekinah, His glory nimbus, & we are to be a people who reflect their maker, who keep His Law, who evidence His Love.  We are His high priests who can go in & out of the holy of holies as we please for the veil has been torn asunder ~ & it is a most terrifying thought.  If it were not that Christ is the atonement I would not dare enter in.  I doubt that few of us would.  I also think we need to remember what an awesome responsibility we carry.  We are the dwelling place of the Most High God.  No other people can claim that. It would be nice if I always remembered that but I don't ~ & the glory departs. 

In the old temple, Solomon's temple, a veil shielded the holy of holies from common view.  The cloth was of fine linen woven in red & purple & blue: blue for heaven, red for the earth & purple for where earth meets heaven.  Where earth meets heaven is in Christ & where He dwells is in us.  There is no other: no other people, no other temple, no other testimony.  David saved for a lifetime for the temple Solomon built.  Christ died for His.

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