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Here this morning while contemplating today’s Scripture passage (1 KGS 8:22-23, 27-30) I had to stop and ask myself what kind of temple or temples am I building and do I expect God to dwell there?
Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?1 Kings 8:27
If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this temple which I have built!
While reading this I could just picture Solomon, with hands raised, worshipping God with his whole being and praying for Israel and for God himself to come to bless Israel and dwell in the temple that God allowed King Solomon to build.
I think as a woman, wife, and mother I have tried many times to build a temple or temples. One of my own design, not one that God had wanted me to. Then expected God to bless it and to take His place right in the midst of it.
We do this all the time. Make a plan and expect it to flourish and to bloom into the dream we have envisioned.
Solomon’s father, King David, wanted to build the Temple. But, God told him that it was his son that would. David was all gung ho and expected to be the one. But, it was not what God wanted.
But it is not you who will build the house, but your son, who comes from your loins; he shall build the house for my name.1 Kings 8:19
We often like to come up with our plan for our temple and think that yes, this must be it. We look for signs, a confirmation or encouragement from those around us. But just like Solomon’s father, King David, we have to be the one chosen to build the ‘temple‘ that we are desiring to build.
If we are not chosen to build a particular temple we are wasting our time. And God will not dwell there.
So, when taking a moment to look at my main ‘temple’, the one I have been working to co-build for so long and have so fervently prayed and sacrificed for – my marriage & family, I can’t help but reflect on what God has done.
I knew since I was a little girl, that I was meant to be married. To be a wife and to have children. This was what God had placed in my heart from a very early age. It was a life that He desired specifically for me and it required me to build with Him and he would be sure to be the cornerstone of my foundation. I would be an active co-participant in raising souls to reach heaven.
But, in my early years, I decided to strike out on my own and put together my own plan for ‘my temple‘. I knew what kind of temple God wanted for me. But, I arrogantly came up with my own design and went ahead and executed construction. Then I offered it up as a gift to me, to my life and to my happiness.
Where did it lead me? What kind of temple did I build? This, long ago, foretold temple of marriage and family that I knew God wanted for me did not end up as the dream I thought it would.
Because I constructed it with a weak plan, inadequate materials and plenty of pride it left me with a huge, dusty pile of useless rubble. Sure, I prayed and asked for God to be with me in my own plan. But, I was, in reality, just asking him to bless my self created ‘temple’ mess.
My plan had led me to a weak and ultimately broken life – divorced, alone with two kids & dispairing. I had picked up the wrong blueprint, followed the wrong path and I did not assemble the right people to help. Knowing what God wanted for me, but I left him far behind and never invited him into the implementation, the construction, let alone the ‘finished’ temple.
I was wondering why was it falling apart? I was doing exactly what was in my heart. Yes, but without praise, without prayer, and without God, whom I needed so much.
I wished to do well – to build it right!
But thank God that he is the God of second (& third, & forth..etc) chances. I was lucky, or blessed, enough to finally look up out of my own self created despair and cry out to the one who could pick me up and work alongside me.
So, I gathered the few blessings that I could take with me on the path to my new temple construction site. God began to lead and direct me in the construction of the new ‘temple’ that He wanted from me. He saw that I wished to build for Him alone and he rushed to help.
I was now in a place where I could see clearly. A place where I leaned on and allowed God to guide me in His ‘temple’ building.
I now believe I have the plans for the right ‘temple‘ he has asked me to build. Alongside the man, God chose for me. He has carefully assembled the help I need and he has offered me the right tools to work effectively on the task at hand.
I will say that just because I have accepted His invitation to work on this “temple’ that he has chosen for me, doesn’t mean that there are no challenges, setbacks, or failures. Besides blessings, I have brought with me to my particular ‘job site’ old hurts, wounds, and bad habits and learned behaviors.
These can make working on a new temple difficult at times. You see, I still have those ‘messes’ that I create, help create or allow to just be. The difference is, he is there in them with me.
He doesn’t bless my mess – he blesses and strengthens me in the messes so that I can see more clearly, clean them up, gain strength and learn from them.
This makes building my ‘temple’ a task that has a definite direction and a God-ordained purpose. Why was I asked to build this marriage & family ‘temple‘? I believe, to cultivate a place where my husband, my children and I can journey alongside each other, in happy times, in sadness, in ups and downs, in defeat, and finally in triumph together to heaven.
I think our mission here in this life is to take our place alongside God, to help create saints, and to become one ourselves. To work and build the temple he has asked us to – carefully constructing our marriage, family, career, our whole life by following the plan he has laid out for us.
Day by day building a ‘temple‘ where He will gladly choose to dwell.