For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? Like the preacher once said, “your body ain’t the real you. Your soul, that’s the real you, the body is just the package it comes in.” This is true, the body is a holding cell for the soul, a house. You remember the times when you were young, and the family was going to have the pastor over for Sunday lunch. Your mom would insist everything in the house be spotless, as neat as a pin. She wanted to make a good impression on the guest coming into her home. She wanted to present nothing less than her absolute best with the home she had been entrusted to care for.
Isn’t it the same with our hearts? Jesus Christ wants to come and live in our hearts, the home of our emotions, the seat of our inner thoughts. Should we not wish to present the purest, cleanest heart we can to a God who entrusted us to care for it? Should we not want to do our best to clean up this home if a guest, not to mention the God of all eternity was coming to live inside of it? God wants our lives to be a living sacrifice unto Him. His desire is that we be holy, even as He is holy.
Hold up. Wait a sec-, how can we be holy, much less as holy as God is? Well, the short answer is: we can’t. Not in and of ourselves. Not in our own power, and certainly not by our own good works. Scriptures say:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
So, by no means can we gain holiness by our deeds of goodness. All our righteousness is as filthy rags before God. He is all righteousness, and all holy. What could God want with our righteousness, our feeble attempt to be like Him? The answer is, everything. Everything about us striving to be like Him is exactly what God wants for us. No matter how many times we fall short, no matter how many times we fail, He still loves us.
Our bodies, our temples of worship are meant to be kept pure. I know purity is a dying concept, but for believers in Christ, there is nothing more crucial to a healthy Christian life. Our eyes, our ears, our minds can work against us when we strive to keep away from temptation. We must be sober, vigilant against evil and protect this house, the dwelling place of God.
As with all houses, the human house has capabilities toprevent burglars from breaking in and stealing what’s inside: our joy, peace, happiness, purpose, satisfaction, victory. A normal house will have a burglar alarm, something to alert you when someone or something is trying to get into the house. God has given Christians the Sin Alarm, it’s called the Holy Spirit 1000. Whenever the human house is being broken into by thoughts and actions of greed, immorality, hate, lies, and all other manner of evil, the Holy Spirit security system alerts the conscience that something is wrong. Immediately we are caught and we know it, we allowed the burglars in, making us as much criminals as they. This is why, when the Holy Spirit alerts you of your wrong doing, they call it conviction.
Another security system that you can put in place is the accountability system. This system is something engineered and perfected by Jesus Christ Himself when He established the church. He made a group of elders the heads, the congregation was accountable to them, and the elders were accountable to each other and to God. If one was not living right, the others would call him on it. This way the burden was on no one man’s shoulders. If you’re struggling with something, ask people to be accountability partners and help to keep you away from your addiction or other sin.
The last method of security is one that is purely for you alone. Like keeping a weapon close to you to guard off attackers, a purity ring or bracelet or necklace is a great weapon against evil. Purity rings help to keep you focused. They are not magical, they will not keep you from evil, (I can personally attest to that), but they are great reminders of the vow of purity you gave to God when you asked Him to live inside you. I wear mine on the index finger of my right hand. Normally they are meant to be worn on the ring finger to be replaced by a wedding band, but the index finger is of a higher visibility for me; and I use my right hand more so I see the ring more often.
Where you wear them does not make a difference, it is what they stand for that is important. I encourage you to stay pure, guard your heart, and in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
As always, thanks for reading and enjoy your day of rest.
–the anonymous novelist