One of the most amazing truths found in scripture is that God lives in the believer’s heart.

There are many word pictures and metaphors that attempt to describe this intimate reality. From our bodies being the “temple of God” to Jesus being the Vine and us the “branches”, all are meant to communicate the active love, provision and purpose God has for each one of us.

READ: Isaiah 51:1-3

““Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many. The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭51‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Three things (you may see more!) stand out from this passage. First….

1) You are made in the image of God

“Look to the rock from which you were cut…” (v.1). Our beginning is God himself. We were cut from Him. In Psalms it says, “He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’” -‭Psalms‬ ‭89‬:‭26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2) God sees our “ruins” and the “wastelands” of our souls.

He looks on us with compassion. He knows how we tend to make a mess of our life. The broken places.. the dryness and depression or overwhelm of life that can break in at times.

3) God still wants to come and live inside us.

Look at what God did through one man…

“Look to Abraham….he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.” (v.2)

He wants to do the same through you and me. How? He wants to build our hearts into little temples.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ ‭NIV

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God makes his home now in the temple of our heart. But this temple resembles more of the Garden from its original intention.

“The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”

Isaiah‬ ‭51‬:‭3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We are to be, what John Eldridge describes as, OUTPOSTS OF EDEN or Eden Temples.

““The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.””
‭‭John‬ ‭2‬:‭19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus ticked off the religious scholars because they had such limited understanding. God was up to something extraordinary through Jesus. GOD WAS BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF RESTORING EDEN. Restoring things to their original intent through YOU and ME!

In some quiet time now…read and spend time meditating on the following scriptures. Let the truths sink in…deep in your heart.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭19‬-‭20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””

Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

REFLECT:

How will you honor God with your life and body as an “Outpost of Eden” this year?

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