As children of God, we often find ourselves seeking His divine presence, not in a building or a particular place, but in the person of Jesus Christ. Mr. Kobach once encapsulated this beautifully with his statement: “Whereas in the past, God had a temple for His people, today God has a people for His temple.”
His words echo the scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:16, where Apostle Paul writes: “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” And again, in 1 Corinthians 6:19, he reminds us, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
This is not a one-off assertion. In 2 Corinthians 6:16, it is again emphasized, “What agreement can a temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God. Just as God has said: ‘I will dwell with them and walk among them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.'”
How profoundly beautiful it is that, as believers in Christ, we bear God’s presence within us. As we walk with Jesus, God’s Spirit dwells with us. Isn’t that incredible?
Yet, this is not the end of the revelation. The Apostle Peter goes further to describe how we, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). Here, he suggests that something within us is being constructed as we continuously seek Jesus. Not just in terms of numbers, but in a spiritual transformation that occurs within us, an ongoing process of spiritual growth and enlargement, leading to a deeper experience of God’s presence.
It reminds me of Paul’s instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” and again in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial… No one should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The building up Paul refers to is an internal process that each believer undergoes, akin to a spiritual building project.
There is an encouraging promise in Ephesians 1:13, “In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” This sealing implies an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Still, as Peter suggests, there is a sense in which we can experience more of God’s presence.
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-19 perfectly encapsulates this longing for a deeper, more intimate experience of God’s presence, ending with the plea: “…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Why would Paul pray for the Ephesians to be filled with all the fullness of God unless it were possible to have God but not experience Him in His fullness?
The challenge for us, then, is to continue coming to Jesus, continually being built up into a spiritual temple, a place in which God more and more fully dwells.
Moreover, as we come to Jesus and receive more of His presence, we also become conduits through which God leads others in worship. We become a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5). We get the unique privilege of leading others to a deeper relationship with God, not through ritualistic sacrifices, but through sacrifices of our bodies (Romans 12:1-2), our praise (Hebrews 13:15), and our giving (Philippians 4:18). In essence, we are not mere observers or bystanders. We are active participants, living stones in God’s spiritual house, priests in His holy priesthood, carrying His presence wherever we go, and facilitating others to experience His presence. So let’s not be content with a mere “watered-down” experience of God. Let’s seek the fullness of God in our lives, and let’s be those through whom God leads others in worship.