Monday, April 27, 2009

Delayed Flight

The airport is rushed, busy, and slow this morning. It seems that ours wasn't the only flight canceled late last night in Denver. The check-in line filled the entire lobby, with agents at all kiosks.

Before coming back to the airport after a very long night of waiting for a delayed flight, sitting on the runway under a blanket of falling snow, standing in line for new flight arrangements and service vouchers, I did enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the airline's expense. And as I ate, I read, "for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night...." (1 Thessalonians 5:5-7).

I was reminded of the many people I waited with on and off the runway last night, stood in line with, and smooshed into a taxi with (there were 5 of us, plus the driver!). Some were angry, most were frustrated; our destinations and places of origin varied; we had differing resources at our disposal. But the one thing we had in common was that we were tired. I was not the only one to arrive at a hotel at 4:30a.m. We were people of the night, people with a natural desire and tendency to rest our minds and bodies.

On a spiritual note, without the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, accessed through faith in Jesus Christ's work on my behalf, I am a person of the night. My vision is impaired, my needs are immediate and demanding, my primary concern is comfort. Under the supernatural empowering of God, by His Spirit, however, I am called to be alert and self-controlled, to see beyond the immediate perceived needs--not just because they exist, but because, by faith, I can move forward with confidence. The context of the passage is the return of the Lord--the comfort and encouragement we can have in His coming, the way in which my life will be lived differently in light of His imminent return.

The next leg of my new flight is imminent, the boarding is nearly in progress. And I am a child of the day, a child with hope, purpose, and a loving Creator who goes before me to offer His vigilance and self-control (mine was depleted many hours ago). To Him be the honor and glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Temple

As we entered the holy week, I began a new chapter in my Bible study on bodily stewardship. The opening question directed me to brainstorm about the temple: holy, sacrifices, worship, giving, confession, repentance, purity, forgiveness, house of prayer, the dwelling place of God.

I don't know about you, but the very idea of the temple and the presence of God is awe-inspiring. I can only imagine what it would have been like to go daily for prayer, to offer sacrifices regularly, to live and breathe these acts of worship. Like any awesome thing, however, it became mundane to some, a drudgery to others (see the book of Malachi). But to think of all it represented from our timestream here in the future is moving.

The Bible study didn't stop there. In bringing to mind the temple--what we know and may not know about the intricacies revealed in the Old Testament--the point was being made that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are His temple. That my body, this physical vessel, has become the dwelling of God Almighty.

It was Monday of this week as I did the study and the picture of Jesus in the temple, during the holy week, came to mind. I began to wonder how that same Jesus must react to dwelling in my body, in my affections, in my mind and will. Is this not the same Jesus who drove out moneychangers and overturned tables? Is He not the one who cried out against the robber's den that should be a house of prayer? It was at this point that I begged Him to remove the moneychangers from my heart--those desires and that selfishness that mock Him daily. To take this heart that is so often a den of robbers and make it a house of prayer. Many times this week I have had to stop and ask Him to do a cleansing work, once again, in this humble temple.

The Scripture continues in Matthew 21. "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them." My prayer: that I may, in all ways and at all times, come to Him blind and lame for His perfect healing. That I may remember His deity and sovereignty and recognize His lordship in this frail vessel He inhabits.

Perhaps He does not dwell in you and you are not His temple. See early posts from this blog for a fuller understanding of God's great love for you.

He is risen.