How to Find God

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

Where is God? How can we find God?

Even though atheism is receiving ample attention these days, still, the vast majority of people are seeking relationship with God. Some go on pilgrimages, hoping to find God in places known for their spiritual power. Others try out a variety of religious traditions, switching from one to another like bees in a field of flowers. Still others take a little from one religion, a little from another, and make up their own personalized faith.

In writing to the Corinthians, Paul answers the question “Where is God?” in a most unexpected way: “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (3:16). Later in his letter Paul will speak of the Spirit as indwelling each individual believer (6:19), but here he envisions the community of believers as the place where God dwells through his Spirit. The people of God are the temple of God. Where is God to be found? In the corporate life of his people, that’s where.

I must confess that my first reaction to this truth is to wince. I think about the church in all of its flaws, I think of how often we do not demonstrate the love and truth of God, I think of our internal squabbles and public disgraces, and I wonder why in the world God would make himself known through the church.

But then, after I get over wincing, I also remember times when God’s presence has been powerfully present in the church. I recall occasions when the people of God have wrapped their arms of love around those who are hurting. I envision the army of saints who go to places of need in the world, helping to rebuild Haiti, for example, after the devastating earthquake there.

And then my thoughts become more personal. I wonder what I am doing as a member of Christ’s church to demonstrate the grace of God. How am I helping the church to be the temple of God in tangible, life-changing, world-changing ways? Will my contribution to the life and mission of the church help people to find God here?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what ways have you experienced God’s presence and power in the church? How do you (or might you) contribute to your church’s fellowship and mission?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes it seems like you have chosen a risky plan, in making yourself known in the church. You know our failures far better than we do. You know how often we fail to manifest your presence both in our fellowship and in the world. Forgive us, Lord, for being such a shabby temple!

I do thank you, though, for the myriad of ways in which your church does faithfully reflect your presence. Thank you for the ways your people reach out with love and grace to others. Thank you for how we sometimes care for each other in ways that reflect and honor you. Help your church, dear Lord, to be in word and in deed the temple of your Spirit. Help us to embody your values, your love, your grace. Help me to do my part, not as a critic standing back and seeing what’s wrong with the church, but as a faithful, fallen, yet forgiven member of your family.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.