Individually Being Built Up
“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.” 1 Kings 6:7
What an interesting verse 1 Kings 6:7 is. I have to say that in reading through the book of first Kings many times I never remember reading it, but there it was this morning sticking out like a sore thumb, not to be missed. In my mind I pictured the scene of the temple being built amongst the sliding and fitting of the stones that had been shaped and quarried in another place and then in the next instant my mind was taken to thoughts of how each of us as followers of Jesus are shaped in the quarry on this earth to one day be ready for the place we will each have in the most glorious temple that is being built as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.
“...having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22
It is through this temple, we, the fitted together body of Christ, make a place where spiritual sacrifices can once again be made. But these are not the sacrifices of animals like that of the old temple, but rather sacrifices of our praise and worship to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“...you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
How each of us are being formed and fitted in this quarry is up to the master builder – the one who already know which place in the great temple we are being fitted to fill. To us the process may seem haphazard, too difficult, tiring, unnecessary, and maybe even a bit unfair when we look at how the shaping of others believers' lives around us seem to not be as harsh. Peter questioned Jesus about this very thing, and Jesus reminded him that we are not to concern ourselves with the ways God uses to shape others for their place in His holy temple. We are only to follow Him and concentrate on Him and what He chooses to do in our own life.
“Peter...said to Jesus, 'But Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.'” John 21:21-22
Today is a new day. The circumstances surrounding you today are meant to shape you in the quarry you are now in, not so that you can find joy in the quarry but rather so that you are fitted for eternity for your place in a holy building that will never be destroyed and which will be filled with joy, worship, laughter, and praise for the rest of eternity. Does that image give you strength to hold on during the shaping process that is going on in your life right now? I know it does for me. Stay strong, the shaping will be well worth the things we must endure to be perfectly fit for our places in heaven.