Links Daily Devotional

Where Does God Live?

…for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:17b, NIV)

I am wondering if you can find God in a sunset.

In some ways it is a question arising from a quaint sort of expression you might hear a neighbor in a rocking chair say—that is, a kind-hearted person who is older than you (wink wink). It is an expression dripping with sentiment but also with possibility. And it ignites an inquiry that is anything but quaint: Where can we find God?

Maybe we’re close to declaring that even God himself doesn’t go to church.I would venture to say that the question is of heightened importance among golfers, because if God can be found at the golf course, we may be justified in spending Sunday there after all. “Church can anywhere!”

If you quote those last three words exclusively, however, you will have made a wreck of all that is to come. And so we embark on a logical progression that I hope is of real devotional value to you today.

First, let us learn from Scripture where God the Father dwells unto himself. In Psalm 115:3, we read, “Our God us in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Scripture consistently presents God as residing in heaven. And yet we know that in his tri-unity, even heaven cannot contain him. He came as “the angel of the Lord,” he came as Jesus of Nazareth, he came as the Spirit descended. God has been and is here now on the earth.

Yet where is he? Oddly enough, the Bible is quite clear about where he is not. Both Stephen in Acts 7 and Paul in Acts 17 declared that God does not dwell in temples made with human hands, with Stephen making reference to Isaiah 66: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord.”

So maybe we’re getting closer to declaring it—that even God himself doesn’t go to church.

But now we go to the answer we really need, found in 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourself are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” Where does God live? He lives in you. Which means God both goes to the golf course and to church! He also goes to work with you and home with you; he’s in the car with you and at the bar with you. Yes, I said it, though I’m not a guy given to bars myself.

And finally we get to our verse for today, the follow up to the one we’ve just read. Here Paul warns: “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him” (1 Corinthians 3:17a). These are awe-inducing words meant to govern our actions. The temple may walk into the bar, but the bar must have no power over the temple. Likewise, the temple may walk the fairways and the aisles, sit in the desk or sit on the couch—and all the while God occupies the temple.

If we are truly men and women of God, he lives in you and in me and in the collective us we call the church. In the end, that is a far more amazing—and daunting—truth than that he lives in any physical, geographical, or astronomical location.

Jeff Hopper
December 13, 2016
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