Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.
It’s an amazing truth! An astounding truth! The Spirit of God lives in the believer. Just as God dwelt among the Israelites in the Old Testament, now God lives in the person who trusts in Christ. The apostle Paul said that each believer is a “temple of God . . . the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were not to defile the land where God dwelt. Now the believer needs to take care of their “temple” where God dwells. When I was growing up, many used this instruction to teach against the use of alcohol and tobacco. And I certainly agree that the abuse of these defiles the “temple.” But it doesn’t stop there.
Defiling the land and defiling our “temple” today includes more than the physical dangers. We must also guard the gate of our eyes . . . what we watch and look at. The gate of our mind . . . the things we think about. The gate of our emotions . . . the things we desire. The gate of our will . . . the mission of our lives. If only it were as easy as simply refraining from alcohol and tobacco.
Father, by your Spirit, help us guard all the gates of our lives where the enemy stands ready to invade. By your Spirit help us stand strong in our areas of weakness. Please protect us from defiling your dwelling place. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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