September 19, 2010

Dwelling in God's Sanctuary

Psalm 15

Who may dwell in your sanctuary? … Those whose walk is blameless, who do what is righteous …
Psalm 15:1-2


What is God’s sanctuary? Probably too many of us think of it only as a church building. In its widest, richest sense, God’s sanctuary is wherever we experience God. It is the place where our heart is. On Sunday a church building becomes a sanctuary as God’s people gather and make up the building blocks of God’s spiritual temple (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5). There we are strengthened for another week of work, another week of serving God—out in the sanctuary of God’s vast world.

Psalm 15 reminds us that what pleases God is not rituals but a life that seeks to live God’s way. When we walk with God on a daily basis, we will do what is right, speak the truth, refuse to slander others, and not harm our neighbors in any way. What’s more, we won’t be impressed by people who delight in doing wrong or in mocking God, and we will honor those who faithfully serve God. We will keep our promises, even when it hurts. And we will help the poor and protect the innocent, taking no part in bribery, fraud, or other corruption.

When we live as the psalmist describes, we experience God’s presence. This happens not only in church gatherings but also in our everyday activities. Those who live God’s way are building a life that cannot be shaken—regardless of the way uninvited trials can try to shift the ground under our feet!

Lord, help us to enter your sanctuary and experience your presence by living as you want us to—not only on Sundays but every day of our lives. Amen.

About the author — Adrian A. Helleman

Dr. Adrian Helleman served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Tanzania. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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