Is Your “Temple” In Ruins? What is the state of your physical body?
“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” Haggai 1:4 (NLT)
I recently read this verse during a mini-study of the book of Haggai. Many years prior to this time in scripture, the Babylonian armies destroyed God’s temple in Jerusalem, and exiled the people. The temple lay in ruins for quite some time. King Cyrus later gave permission for the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild. During the time of Haggai, the people should have been in the process of rebuilding the temple.
However as time went, they had limited resources and started facing opposition. When difficulties came, it discouraged the people, and they gave up. Then instead, they started building and working on their own elaborate homes. Consequently, God sent a message to Haggai as a word for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. Haggai was to encourage Zerubbabel and the people to continue the work of rebuilding the temple and to reorder their priorities.
I saw this “temple in ruins” message from a different perspective
Haggai 1:4 stood out to me and kind of convicted me in a different way. I saw this from the perspective of God’s house, or temple, as my body. I saw how the state of my body probably isn’t what it should be in order to be fit to be the house of God. Frequently, I don’t take care of myself like I should…in my eating habits, my activity/exercise, and in getting rest like I should. Often I put other things as a higher priority, and taking care of myself takes a back seat.
Additionally, I noticed that I sometimes tend to give up on focusing and working on my body when it gets too hard. Sometimes I face opposition or have limited resources when it comes to keeping my body healthy. Occasionally, it gets difficult to eat healthy, to exercise and stay active, or even to get proper rest/sleep. It’s often inconvenient to take care of myself the way I should.
I, too, need a reminder to reorder my priorities. I don’t always focus or keep a priority on staying healthy. I’m not just talking about weight but staying holistically healthy in order to have a long-term life. Like the Jews, I sometimes I get more concerned with taking care of my home (my house) than I do about taking care of my physical body. This is especially true when I’m having company over!
We are the temple now
See, now WE are the temple of God. There is no longer a building where the presence of God resides. When Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected, He gave us the ability to be holy and righteous—a place where God could live. The spirit of God comes to live inside of us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord (Romans 10:9-10).
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT)
“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)” Romans 8:9 (NLT)
“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NLT)
We need to make sure our “temples” are suitable for God! If not, we need to reorder our priorities.
Take Some Practical Steps To Make Sure Your Temple Is Not In Ruins:
- Answer the following questions:
- What is the state of your “temple” or body?
- Do you work on it to keep it out of ruins or to restore it from ruins?
- Do you tend to give up or make excuses when opposition hits or when you have limited resources?
- Are you more concerned with and/or pay more attention to your own home, life, job, etc. than you are taking care of your body?
- Do you make taking care of yourself and staying healthy a priority?
- What are some simple, small steps that you could take right now that will help to make your body fit to be the house of God? How can you start to take better care of yourself? (If you are unsure, pray and ask God to give you some ideas or to convict you in certain areas.)
- Set a couple of goals based on the steps you could take. Try to start with one simple goal in each of these 3 areas: 1) Healthy eating habits, 2) Activity or exercise, and 3) Getting adequate rest.
- Be encouraged that you are NOT rebuilding your temple alone. God reminded the people that He was with them and encouraged them to be strong. God will help you and empower you as you take the steps to take care of your body. When you start the work, God will bless you!
“Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: “I am with you, says the LORD!”” Haggai 1:13 (NLT)
“But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.” Haggai 2:4-5 (NLT)
“I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” Haggai 2:19 (NLT)
- Lastly, read the 2 short chapters in Haggai with the perspective of rebuilding and taking care of your body. I think you will find that you might be both convicted yet encouraged and empowered.
Has God ever convicted you about your “temple” being a place suitable for His presence? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.
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