Luke 2: 14-16
14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus knew he was going to suffer. He knew he was going to be lead into the lion’s den to be devoured, and out of love, he continued the journey. He was mocked and beat to the point of death. He didn’t run from this hardship. Although his body had weakened is soul was unchanged. He did not hate or lash out at his accusers …Instead, after he was nailed to the cross he prayed for their forgiveness, “Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34)
Every time I find myself in a difficult situation and around difficult people I remind myself of Jesus’ hardships. I pray, lean on his strength, and continue on. I remind myself that Jesus not only canceled out the old laws by his death, he became our protection, and he became our best weapon against the enemy, all by the spilling of his blood. But, not only that, he opened the door for us to heaven. Have you really ever thought about the prayer, “Lord your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) I once heard of people who were trying to find the Garden of Eden. People are always searching for a paradise. The Garden of Eden is inside of us, paradise is inside of us, heaven is inside of us. No matter where we are, what struggles we face, we can find paradise within the doors of heaven inside of our own being. We are a temple of God. When we defile that temple, allowing darkness to come in, we will not be able to walk through the doors of heaven. But, if we clean out our temple and chase the darkness away the doors will open and heaven will descend upon us.
Cleaning our temples is not easy. We’ll have to fight the enemy that we’ve allowed in. We’ll have to slay dragons that have affected us for generations. The battle will be real. But once our temple is clean, oh …the peace. In this peace, in this paradise, we can live and thrive. This peace will be our sanctuary through the hardships of life. Through the evil days it will be our protection and cover us through all trials.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Think of your body as a temple, a holy place. Think of the evil that you have allowed to come in. What needs to change? If people come to your temple would it have a good influence or would it drag people down?
Author H.E. Olsen