If you’ve heard the podcast then you know I have a “Word of the Year” every year. This word is usually revealed to me in some way before the new year begins.
My word this year is SANCTUARY. (Last year was KNOWN, by the way, and we see how that turned out!)
I’ve played with some ways that word would have meaning for me. Maybe I am supposed to work on making my home a place of refuge for people in my community who are in search of some peace and respite. Maybe it meant God was going to be doing some stripping away of worldly comforts for me to find my refuge in Him. All of my thoughts could have been true. They were all good things, but they didn’t settle in my soul…yet…
You have not kept charge of My holy things, but have appointed others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you. – Ezekiel 44:8 (HCSB)
Oh. I see, God. I see.
My mind was flooded with thoughts of ways I’ve put others in charge of my faith…of my worth. I thought of ways I have quenched the Spirit within me (1 Corinthians 6:19). I realized where we would be going in 2020, me and God.
Who have I put in charge of my sanctuary? Who have I allowed to tell me what to think, how to feel, what to look like, if I should be happy or sad? Who is in the driver’s seat? Is it me? Is is the world? Or is it God, whose Spirit actually resides in my sanctuary – the temple of Christ, the BODY of Christ?
Later in Ezekiel, there is a description of the Living Water flowing from the center of the sanctuary. Where the water flows there are fruit bearing trees. The trees bear fruit – always! The trees are never barren. While this passage is found in the OT, I have to believe this is a description of the Triune God and His church.
If I am allowing my sanctuary (my heart, my spirit, my body – all of me) to be filled with the Spirit, as God intended, then guess what will flow out. That’s right! God will – the Living Water will flow from me! And what is the evidence of that? Fruit! I want joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control to grow in the lives of those around me because of what is coming out in my life . I want that because it’s what God wants.
The word Sanctuary appears in the NIV 170 times. I will probably learn more about this word and its meaning in my life as 2020 goes on. God will show me more and I will share it with you!
Are you treating your body, mind, and soul as a sanctuary? I’m going to try harder. I want to open the floodgates and let the Living Water flow!