CHRIST IS OUR SANCTUARY WHEN WE ABIDE IN HIM
“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, …” 1 John 3:24
Our secret place of peace and safety is not a hidden sanctuary* here on earth; it is when we dwell in God. On earth tribulations will come; famines will come; persecutions will come; afflictions will come ... and saints will even be martyred, but Jesus said:
"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." Luke 12:4-5 (KJV)
That warning of Jesus tells us to fear God. So, we need to learn what it means to fear God. Here is our answer:
" ... by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Prov 16:6 (KJV)
"... Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl 12:13 (KJV)
That standard determines whether we love and fear God ... and whether God loves us. (Even under the new covenant, we must obey the Ten Commandments to abide in His love.) Jesus said:
" ... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him ... " John 14:23
If our faith in Jesus is genuine, we will obey Him. Yet, many people reject The Ten Commandments because they have been told that Jesus' commandments are different than The Ten Words of God. That is not true! Here, Jesus said that his commandments are the same as the Father's:
"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." John 14:24 (KJV)
Why is this important? We must know that we love God and that he loves us, in order to have patience and comfort in times of adversity ...
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom 8:28 (KJV)
The scriptures, church history, and even the daily newspapers show that trouble and afflictions occur in every generation. We can be sure that each of us will have a time when our faith is tested and our faithfulness in the temptation will be the faith that pleases God.
Most "believers" lose the war against sin because they try to fight their battles in their own strength and do not call upon the LORD. The martyrs and heros of the faith overcame the world, the flesh, and the devil because they not only had faith in Jesus' sacrifice for their sins; but they also offered their bodies as a living sacrifice to God as they confessed Him before men and trusted Him to keep them from falling.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Rev 12:11 (KJV)
In these perilous times, when temptations are on every side, let us abide in the secret place of the most High. Our hope rests in the Almighty who is our refuge, our strength, and our deliverer. He will always be our place of peace and safety.
Shalom, peace unto you ...