Good (God's) Intentions

July 22, 2004

I was recently talking with a young lady who has little or no contact with the body of Christ, God’s Word or any of the things that most of us reading this use to guide us through daily life. All she knew was that she felt bad.

 

What was her main problem? She sees herself in terms of what people have told her about herself. In other words, rejection had set the tone for her life. She would look at herself and see a building chock full of whatever people told her about herself: stupidity, foolishness – all sorts of negative things.

 

Do you know what I’ve seen in the body of Christ? A lot of us live this way too because we have received the rejection messages of others but have not received the identity messages that come to us from the Father.

 

“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

 

I have been reading the Old Testament out loud in a nursing home just about every Tuesday for about 2 years now. Do you know what I have seen in those readings?

 

People often brought idols into the temple in Israel and polluted it and this affected the whole nation.

 

Paul says "and what agreement has the temple of God with idols?".

 

The truth is...the temple of God has no agreement with idols...but sometimes idols are in there. People do it a lot. An idol is a God-replacement. Just as we worship God by spending ourselves, time and focus with Him, when we give ourselves, time and focus to idols we are worshiping them. I believe that self hatred is a common idol in our lives.

 

“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

 

Paul is redefining the concept of a “temple” from a huge building to a different kind of dwelling: the human heart. He tells them....and us: “YOU are the temple of God!” He is encouraging us to not let idols stay in us.

 

Listen to this amazing thing God has said about us: people who were spiritually dead, people who instinctively obeyed satan, people who were lost and foul. Listen to this amazing thing God has said: "I will dwell in them…”

 

Would God want to live in us if we were not clean (in Christ?) The truth is...we are righteous in Christ.

 

God says: "I will dwell in them". The Greek word we translate as "dwell" doesn't just mean "to be in there" - it means "to actively move about it.....to live in" us.

 

God was stating His intention: "I will dwell in them" and "I will walk among them", which means "I will be occupied among them". This means that when dwelling in us...He will be actively paying attention and involved with us.

 

He continues to state His intention:

 

"I will dwell in them"

"I will walk among them"

"I will be their God,"

"And they shall be My people."

 

I believe that God has always craved this relationship with each one of us. Peter put it like this:

 

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10) – [italics are mine]

 

We used to be...not a people. We were all scattered....alone...lonely..... vulnerable. REALLY vulnerable. We were afraid....and with good reason: we had no power and were solitary individuals - all on our own; not a people. But now... we ARE the people of God...(those of us who are saved).

 

We are people who belong to God.

 

“As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:16b)

 

God stated His intention and then, according to what we just read from Peter, God went and did it. Let's' receive that and practice that and enjoy that and make others homesick for it. In other words, let's live it.

 

Paul continues:

 

“Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate’, says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

 

The term "be separate" literally means, "set boundaries". In other words, decide how far you will let the doctrines of lost people come into your life.

 

Will we let the world set the tone for our lives or will we refuse to let that happen?  God says it is just that simple.

 

“Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate’, says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

 

And here is God's intention:

 

"And I will receive you."

 

and then He promises something we ALL need:

 

“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

 

We used to not be a people. Then we were. The bible says that God knew that a part of our soul hunger was due to being spiritually fatherless.

 

Jesus speaking: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) 

 

There is something worse than being “not a people” and it is to be fatherless. God knew that and has met this need. He is the Ultimate Father.

 

All around us are people like that young lady I mentioned at the beginning of this article. They feel bad but do not know why. They try all sorts of things to take the pain away and those things all fail. They don’t know that they are “not a people” or “fatherless”. They don’t know that they are empty inside and craving to be indwelt by God and have Him pay attention to them.

 

Some of them are us and are so convinced that people, degrees, physical things can fill these needs that we never think to tap the riches of Christ in us.

 

Let’s lead others to the Source of healing, Jesus. Let’s go there ourselves.

 

I think that was God’s intention all along.

 

In His service.

 

 

 

Pastor Mike McInerney 

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc

Decatur, TX

© July 21, 2004

(For use with permission)

 

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