Posts Tagged ‘when to give up’


Day Thirty-Five


Before He will “Dwell” With Us-

The Agreement


“What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols?…”

2Cor 6:16


                Both the Old Testament (Lev 26) and the New Testament (2Cor 6) form Scriptural bookends which speak of the Lord desiring to dwell in and with us and among us.  In both locations things are detailed that must be done before God’s “dwelling” can happen.  There are changes required in us!  Whether under the law (as in the Leviticus account) or under grace (as in 2Corinthians) – there are vital things that must change in you and I.  In both of these places (again even though one is under the law and the other grace), the requirement for us can be summed up as “agreement.”  It is our continuous movement into greater and deeper agreement with God which brings us into the reality of becoming the temple of God.

          The agreement required from the Old Testament Leviticus Chapter 26 was – agreement with God’s posture on the statutes and commandments.  If the Hebrews would agree to walk in obedience to them, they would gain the rain in due season, full seasonal times, peace in the land, and overwhelming victory over the enemy. They would also gain God’s dwelling – but the best that could be had was His dwelling among them externally.

          The agreement required for the New Testament (in 2nd Corinthians) was agreement internally (within our very souls) with the grace of God and to not receive it in vain.  We were to receive His grace – His Life (to wit His merciful kindness and influence on our souls – keeping and strengthening them), which is essentially agreeing with and becoming one with His soul (His will, intellect, and emotions) about things. 

          Both of these instances require change within us.  But while the Old Testament promised His dwelling among the Hebrews as a result of external obedience, the New Testament promises His dwelling among us as a result of our internal obedience.  Now the obedience required is an alignment with Him from our outlook and ways of perceiving, and our heart to His outlook, His perception, His heart –because of His life now abiding within us and affecting this change.  Certainly the requirement for change is more stringent in the Corinthian’s passage, but the provision for that change is more than extraordinarily equipped to make it possible!  Jesus Christ’s own nature has come to reside within us as we have received Him as Lord!

           With both passages promising God’s dwelling among us why even annotate the difference?  Because between the two there has occurred a major shift!  In the Old Testament – everything was external – and so was the temple location external.  Now, because of the Cross of Christ, we are empowered to have God’s dwelling within us individually – the temple of God within us!  His code which was once external to us is now written on our hearts and we can become one with it (obeying it) as never before.  His dwelling is now within us – as Emmanuel – “God with us.” Hallelujah!

                    The dwelling of God is with His people.  But His dwelling is not apprehended without cost.  Yes – the cost of His life in us, and His redemption, and the Cross – these were paid in full by the Lord Jesus Christ.  But there is a cost for you and me to receive it.  We have to give up something – to be able change.  Even the Hebrews had to give up their way – for the Lord’s way.  They had to agree to follow His code of living. 

Today –what we give up in retrospect seems hardly worth recounting.  We give up our broken lives for His whole life.  We give up pain and wounding for His wholeness.  We give up disease and infirmity for His healing.  We give up small dreams – for the enormity of His dreams and His provision to bring them into being. We give up our meagerness for His abundance.  We give up the sin of our old-man, for the grace of God to move in, to renovate and to secure His dwelling within us.  We give up isolation, loneliness, and insecurity for inclusion, fellowship, and love! We give up a life of uncertain struggle – for a life of certain peace

Indeed – what agreement can there be between a temple of God and idols?  None!  As light and darkness are different — these have nothing in common – but now the uncommon, the out-raying radiance, the sole expression of the glory of God,  the perfect imprint and very image of God – the One Who upholds and maintains, and guides and propels the very universe  — has sought us and abides within us as light eternal, and in the splendor of His light and the beauty of His presence we can only rejoice!

Be-inhabited, be-loved!  



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