As part of Christ’s body, we carry the presence of God with and in us. Some people and religious doctrines try to diminish this Christian responsibility because they believe that it limits or obscures God’s holiness and ultimately His sovereignty by filling imperfect people or because the thought that humans carry the presence of God may imply universalism – “people are gods” because they are carrying part of God with them. These unbiblical positions are extreme and speculative. However, the Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit, and thus God’s presence, is carried by each believer.
We are the temple of God and God’s Spirit lives in us
Paul says: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” Therefore, knowing that we are a sacred temple, how should we live?
Keep in mind that until Plato, people did not think of the person being segregated into mind, body, spirit, soul, emotions…; they were thought of the whole person being completely integrated. Therefore when Paul says that we are God’s temple, he is not saying that our souls or minds are God’s temple. He is saying that all our being is God’s temple. Further, Paul’s mindset would be directed not only on the individual, which is the primary focus in 1 Cor 3, but he would also be concerned with how individuals related when they are gathered in the congregation. When believers gather, the combined group is the temple; you don’t have a lot of individual temples in one location. This points to the supernatural uniqueness of fellowship.
God’s Temple, Carrying the Presence of God
Bringing the Ark to Zion
David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all. He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household. (2 Samuel 6:6-11)
What can we do to be better Ark carriers? Let’s discuss ways to carry the presence of God based on this scripture.
First, we know that carrying the presence of the Lord is a great privilege that is accompanied by great responsibility. David chooses only the “choice” men to usher the ark to Zion, and Obed-Edom was a Priest in Shiloh. These men dedicated themselves to carrying the presence of the Lord. They used a new cart and used the young priest to walk along the cart to protect the ark. They did the best they could but still did not accomplish their goal because they did not educate themselves in the matters of carrying the ark. This implies that the priests were performing their religion so long that it became rote; they didn’t even think about their religious service being accurate, Godly, obedient or any of its spiritual implications. This is a common occurrence when a religion is not centered on God’s presence.
We should be asking if our worship is spiritual? Is it Biblical? Is it obedient? Is it reverent? Is it done in ignorance or in the light of God’s revelation?