Wouldn't it be awesome if we could see our kids hearts on the inside? See what they need to function at their best to produce the fruit of good character in their lives and to have a strong relationship with God? Did you know the Bible has a blueprint for this? I grew up reading the Bible regularly and yet I completely was overlooking some really important elements to the Christian life. It is right there in scripture, but I just wasn't connecting the dots. My good friend Pam Swanson has connected the dots in a way that has been very lifechanging for me. She has made 15 free videos to help us understand God's blueprint for how our heart can function at its best. Her videos series is called You are a Living Temple. I've actually watched each one about 4 or 5 times because I want to soak in all of the content until it becomes second nature for me. As I have experienced so much insight from these videos, I began applying these concepts to parenting my children -helping them learn how to partner with God in shaping their character. That's when I decided that Pam needed to come on the podcast and share some of these concepts with all of you, my dear intentional momfriends. Here is a link to LISTEN to episode 183, part 1 with Pam Swanson.
THANK YOU, PAM, for also writing a guest blog post for the Practically Speaking MOM Ministry to accompany our two-part conversation.
Understand the Biblical Temple - Understand You!
by Pam Swanson
“You are the Temple of God” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Every time I came across this verse in my Bible, I pondered its meaning. I had accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord in my teens while watching a preacher named Billy Graham on our small television. I understood that, when I prayed the prayer of salvation with Billy Graham, my spirit came alive and His Holy Spirit came to live inside of me. I was now a carrier of God’s presence! God’s desire was to dwell within us, rather than within a physical building.
But I wondered…what exactly does this mean to me today? How does His presence living inside of me make my day-to-day life and activities different? Most importantly, how do I access God’s presence within me? Many questions filtered through my mind.
Deep inside of me, I knew there must be more.
The Temple is a Blueprint
I began to find the answers to these questions while sitting in the back of a classroom. It was a typical Thursday morning, and I had just finished setting up the room in preparation for our weekly class at our local home school co-op. I waited for my husband Jeff to begin teaching Biblical Worldview to the group of eager teenagers that had gathered.
Today’s lesson would be on the Temple.
For the next hour, Jeff began to reveal something that has absolutely changed my life.
The temple of the Old Testament is a template, or blueprint, of the inner workings inside of ME!
The Blueprint Never Changes!
God gave Moses a very precise blueprint, or set of instructions, as to how to build the tabernacle. It was to be patterned after the very temple of God in heaven. Each space and structure was to be made in a specified way. Detailed instructions were given as to dimensions, decorations, and placement of every piece of furniture.
Many years later, God imparted to David the plans for the temple building in Jerusalem. This temple would be patterned after the tabernacle of Moses, and the temple of heaven.
This same temple pattern would continue through the time of Jesus. Jesus himself said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2:19 NIV)
Paul goes on to write to all believers, “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)
All Biblical temples have one blueprint, and one alone. They are all in the image of the temple in heaven.
You and I are no different. We are wonderfully created in the Biblical pattern of the heavenly and earthly temple.
The Temple has Spaces and so do You
The temple was a very busy place, with many different activities taking place throughout the day.
Just as the Biblical temple had specific areas for different activities, so too do you.
Some spaces were for the general public, and other spaces were very private areas that had limited access. God himself specified what behaviors would happen in each area.
There were four primary areas in the temple, and the Bible refers to four primary areas in you.
Let’s look briefly at each space of the temple, and how it correlates to you.
1. The Outer Court- Your Body -The outermost space of the temple was called the outer court. It was also called the court of the Gentiles, because they could enter here. This space represents your body and your five senses. As you go about your daily life, your physical being continually communicates and interacts with all sorts of people situations. You go to work, take your kids to school, go to the soccer game…all the while interacting with others.
2. The Inner Court- Your Soul
This was a very busy area in the temple. It was the place of sacrifice and washing. Three pieces of furniture were located here: The altar of sacrifice, the bronze basin, and the bronze laver. The Bible teaches that you have a soul, which includes your thoughts, will, and emotions. Just as the priests tended this area daily, washing and sacrificing, so too we must wash our thoughts and emotions as well as make personal sacrifices to serve Christ.
3. The Holy Place- Your Heart
The holy place was located in the sanctuary, the innermost building of the temple. In contrast to the outer and inner courts, which were outdoors and accessible to many people, the holy place was a separate place only the priests could enter. The room was covered with pure gold and was considered the place of communion with God. Here the bread and wine were on the table, the lamp of the Menorah lit up the room and the sacred incense burned continually. This space corresponds to our heart, a special place that God desires to be wholly His. The Bible has much to say about the heart. It is the place from where our mouth speaks and all of the issues of our life flow. It has thoughts, intents, imaginations and desires. Likened to a garden, it can be filled with light and beautiful fruit from God’s Word, or it can be hardened and bear fruit of bitterness or resentment. Just as this sanctuary was guarded, so we must guard our heart above all else.
4. The Most Holy Place- Your Spirit
This space was situated at the very back of the sanctuary building, and was also covered in pure gold. This holy and sacred place was where God’s presence resided. The ark with the covenant law sat in the center, with the mercy seat covering it. The high priest could enter this area just one time each year. This area represents your reborn spirit and the Holy Spirit dwelling within. Unlike the priests of old, you have access to this place at all times. The Spirit of love Himself lives in the very center of your being.
You are the Priest of Your Temple
The duties of the priest now belong to you.
You are responsible for the cleansing, guarding, and maintaining of your temple.
Your physical body must be maintained, your soul must be cleansed, and your heart must be guarded. As you take time each day to separate yourself from the activities of life and tend to the inner duties of your heart and soul, you will be refreshed and restored. Your inner eyes and ears will see and hear more clearly. Your life will remain in close communication with your Lord, and you will be a light to those around you.
Will you accept the assignment and become all God intends for you?
Get to know our guest author, Pam Swanson: Pam received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oral Roberts University and went on to work in the intensive care unit. Her passion for teaching and mentoring in the hospital setting led her to take on the role of nurse educator for the unit. She went on to homeschool their 3 children and serve in leadership in the local homeschool community. When not teaching at home, she could be found teaching one of many science classes to high school students, assisting her husband in teaching Biblical worldview courses, or sharing Bible stories in the preschool room at church. Recently, she has felt the call of God to take what she has been learning over the years in her personal Bible study efforts and in working with her husband and share that with others. Through her life experiences, God has gifted her with the ability to take hard, in-depth Biblical concepts and teach them in a way that allows the learner to gain understanding and apply what they learn in their own lives.
CONNECT with PAM: Planbible Website:
Living Temple video series
Study guide to go along with Pam's videos:
Connect with Pam in the Facebook Group: Abiding in the Vine