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Devotional - week of December 10, 2017


MAKE ME A SANCTUARY

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God …?  1 Corinthians 6:19

A well-known and often-sung chorus in Christian circles expresses the believer’s desire to be a sanctuary for God. It expresses the believer’s desire to be His special abiding place or sanctuary.

Because the Spirit of God already lives in believers, our expressed desire should be for God to have full possession of our lives. He is already at work making that a reality.

From the moment we became a Christian, our heavenly Father has been working in our lives. Jesus says in John 4:14 that from the time of our conversion to Christ, the Holy Spirit has been working to have full control of our lives. Even our God-given description of “saints” reveals that God’s desire and plan is to have all there is of us at all times.

Galatians 5:17 tells us that the Holy Spirit has entered our lives to take control and He is continually at work to do so.

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another …

This verse also tells us that the thing that keeps Jesus from having all there is of us is our flesh—our know-it-all attitude—that wants to control our lives. However, the indwelling Holy Spirit is continuously at work in us to make us God’s special abiding place.

In the vine and branch passage of John chapter 15 Jesus says:

… every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  John 15:2

A vinedresser prunes the branches of the vine so that a new crop of grapes can grow. As a spiritual vinedresser our heavenly Father removes those things from our lives that hinder us from being His special abiding place. He desires constant control of our lives in order to bring forth more fruit. Above all, the Father’s desire is that we set aside our flesh.

As we pray for the Father to make us His special abiding place, we can participate in the answer to that prayer by experiencing the crucifixion of our flesh.