Where Does God Dwell?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On a recent trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Haggia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Haggia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hands”. “That God is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon us.
The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” My point is God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. When I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy. My most invigorating moments were spent in Athens Greece. We walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths.
The highlight of our trip was when I observed my husband climb “Mars Hill”. In a foreign country one must be cautious. After my husband determined that it was safe I too climbed the hill and we both joyously praised GOD! This is the infamous Mars Hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts give you a marvelous panoramic view. When we first approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching. I found this to be quite interesting because years before when I was called to ministry a woman being a minister was not readily accepted. This was confirmation just how good GOD truly is. I was sure of the call on my life to minister but I was also very sure that I did not have to be restricted to the doctrines of a denomination but to the “Word of God!” Acts tells us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. The GREAT “I AM!” Mars Hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!) It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His truth is marching on!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, word and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate and environment where God receives the preeminence. It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men and change their lives when we spread His Gospel. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, song or the spoken word. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!