“And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.” NKJV
I’ve always wanted to be chiselled. You know, tough, muscular, sculptured, less than five percent body fat, a lean mean fighting machine. However, spending most of my time seated, bent over and bashing at the keys, has meant that the plastic bits holding my six pack together, burst open a long time ago and I now have a small keg instead. Chiselled indeed! Ha! The older I get, the more I resemble Winnie the Pooh and no doubt, I shall probably end up smelling like him as well.
This body of mine seems to take up an increasing amount of time with respect to daily maintenance and the more I care about it, the less my God seems to, for the terrible Kray twins of time and gravity, are slowly taking over all parts of my parish and their demands for protection money increase with every year.
Today, Spurgeon wonderfully comments on our text for tonight by saying,
As in the building of Solomon's temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy - so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planning us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here - all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.
“Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.”
How wonderful. Friends, God want us be chiselled saints as well but in a way, which is completely contrary to our desires. God is not dealing with the Kray twins today. They are not yet locked up but rather, roam all our towns terrorising and slashing, ever threatening and always following through. Now listen, for God’s love for us means that sometimes He takes care of our bodies in the healing of them.
Yes, sometimes He answers our many, our oh so many prayers, for healing with a “Let it be so!” However, most of the time, He doesn’t! No, most of the time, He seems to disdain our present distress, He seems to, most of the time, never even turn His face toward our broken down bodies. We answer this seeming offensive disdain with conclusions such as, “lack of faith,” “out of season,” “lack of gifting,” “lack of anointing,” “unbelief,” and so on and so forth. Sometimes, some of these conclusions may be applicable but most of the time, most of the time I say, the Master Mason never even raises His eyes, nor turns His head towards the physical brokenness we bring to Him.
In terms of priorities, may I suggest to you that these failing edifices of ours, these flesh covered tents, all falling to pieces before our very eyes, are presently some way down His bride’s “honeydo” list. Yet, every day, He chisels away at us, forming our hearts, moulding our spirits, expanding our souls, making us ready for the everlasting Kingdom, which all creation groans for to be revealed. I wonder if this present work of chiselling sanctification is so thorough, so precise, so exacting, that the Master Mason refuses to be distracted from His work in progress, His masterpiece which is you!
No doubt, like me, you shall still pester Him to come and fix a lesser work, to come and patch up a failing form and sometimes, because he loves us, He shall do this. However, most of the time, He evidently doesn’t and this is because He is involved in a far greater work in this quarry of His world.
This present and walking ruin of our bodies, is totally unfit to house His masterpiece. To that end then He has prepared for us a body, a resurrected one, a chiselled masterpiece to beautifully house His present preparation. By all means then pray. But above all be patient and have faith that all the pain has purpose. Have faith in this my friends, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, turn your pain to hope.
Listen: “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.” Hebrews 6:1-3 NKJV.
Pray: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. (The Apostles Creed)
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