We are God’s chosen place and house of sacrifice.

Adonai appeared to Shlomo by night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. – 2 Chronicles 7:12

Solomon had dedicated the newly constructed temple to Yahweh, and God approved of the temple as his house when the fire of his Spirit fell and consumed the sacrifice. In fact, the presence of God’s Spirit was so strong that the priests couldn’t perform their duties or offer praise to God. Then God appeared to Solomon and told him that he’d totally accepted the temple for his dwelling place among men and as a place of sacrifice.

Today, I am reminded of Paul’s words that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, that we are to present our lives as living sacrifices, and also of Luke’s words that on Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus the Spirit rested on the 120 with what appeared as “cloven tongues of fire.” We ARE the place in the earth where God has chosen to place his name and accepted us as a place of sacrifice.

Are we really dying to self and thereby placing our lives on the altar of heaven as living sacrifices? Sacrifices are living things that die as a payment for something costly. However, Paul said we are to be ‘living’ sacrifices, which implies a continuing sacrifice. We don’t die to self once and all is well. That was the work of the cross through the blood of Christ. What we die to is our selfish desires and wills. We must submit our lives EVERYDAY to God and pursue his will for us.

Father, What is it that I have to die to today? What area of my life have I not surrendered to the will and love of God? Lord, search me and know my heart. Renew a right spirit within me, and I seek your will to be my driving force. Place your name on this temple as your dwelling place in the earth and accept it as a place of living sacrifice. Not my will but your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.