Picture God in your mind…
If you’re like most of the people I’ve asked, you probably thought of some combination of a man in a gray beard floating in the clouds or a scowling judge glaring down from his judgment bench. Both are wrong. God has a presence in the world today, and how we see Him determines how we see ourselves and others.
When the Spirit of God descended into the Temple built by King Solomon the power was so great the priests couldn’t perform their ceremony (I Kings 8). There was no doubt that God was present and the temple would be the dwelling place for God among His people. In those days the temple was the center of the Israelites life and worship. Their lives revolved around the presence of God in the Most Holy Place. Then…
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 NIV
Jesus is the Son of God, is God, and was His physical presence on this earth. Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (NIV). He became the center of life and worship drawing everyone to Him. From the moment Christ was crucified and the temple was torn in two everything changed. God is no longer contained in one building or one group of people. (John 12:32, Mark15:38)
Through Christ’s death and resurrection God is once again present in His temple, the center of life and worship. Believers are God’s temple. We are His dwelling place through His Spirit. When we clearly see God it will change how we see ourselves and how we see others. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16)
- When we see the Spirit of God dwelling in ourselves it focuses our worship, actions and lives. (1 John 3:9-10)
- When we see God in fellow Christians we are able to unconditionally love each other deeply (1 Peter 1:22, 4:8; 1 John 3:16-18)
- When Christians see God in each other we can join in unity and the body of Christ is lifted up to “draw all men to [Himself].” (Ephesians 2:18-22, 4:12-13)
- When Christians are built together as the temple of God we become God’s workers in His plan of redemption. (Ephesians 2:6-10)
How we see God determines how we see ourselves and others. How we see ourselves and others determines how, through the unity of the Spirit, the work of God is accomplished.