I had a dream once where I saw myself sitting in a scaffolding. Like the kind you’d find on the downtown sidewalks of a big city. Only, rather than positioned there on the sidewalk, it was in the middle of a large, empty coliseum. And scattered about me on the planks of the scaffolding were notes and toys and other marginalia from my childhood. A doorway, too. Through which I see the living room of the apartment I lived in as a child.
If you think about it, with the exception of a forest canopy, the hollow of a tree or the caves of the earth, we are all open to the sky. We are uncovered. Buildings and structures (human-sized, of course) are an eminently human thing. Something we need else we’re at the mercy of the weather and the earth. Get enough of these together and you have a city. Following parts one and two, building up from the earth is what we’re getting at. And like most things in the Bible, there’s a double entendre to be had as we are, after accepting Jesus as Savior, the newfound dwelling place for the Spirit of God.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
As an aside, the Colosseum (the official one) would, under the rule of Emperor Titus, occasionally be closed off and used for “water games”. In my mind’s eye is only a crumbling edifice with widely-spaced columns. Certainly not water tight!
Each of us is like a building. I open with my dream because it’s replete with memories and ruminations and impressions that no one would else would get–not even my parents. I had the dream when I was in my late teens. In my dream, I am even younger and dealing with things from before that, looking in on the place I lived as a toddler. Point is, God is growing me up. Growing you. And while all of the inherent details of my dream are highly and exclusively specific, I can guarantee you that God is doing (and has done) the same in you. “Bricks in your wall” as I would call them. Numerous instances and interactions and impressions that have been bricks and mortar and more. Walls. Beams. Streets. You are being constructed by God. And if your eyes are open, you’ll see those lines.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man (or woman) hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
So what are those lines? If you’ve begun (from part 1) from the water to the earth (and its lines in the soil) to where you form a container for God’s Spirit, then you’re on the right track. I don’t really have anything to say to that except keep it. Play it up and exalt God in the midst. We get an incredibly detailed picture of the Temple in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 40-47). He was ushered onto a mountaintop and into the presence of “a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass” (40:3). This “man” proceeds to show him around through six dry and contextless chapters detailing the interior of the Temple. What stands out in sharp relief is its intention. Chapter 46 opens with the “inner court”. It says “in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch…” The word “way” there is also used in the Psalms to describe the word of God. Derek. God sets up shop and takes residence in our heart by His word. His presence through His word.
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God…” (Revelation 3:13)
The “symbolic density” increases. You are you. You are the fullest representation of yourself and also that piece of God in the world. But we also are symbolized by building implements. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” says Peter (1 Peter 2:5). All of which is meant for one thing: a place for God to be. To dwell, and as Jesus says, to “sup with him and he with me”.
If you consciously dwell on whatever little thing the Holy Spirit intimates to your heart and mind–keep a journal if need be, for just those things–and build upon that foundation, you will begin to see the uniqueness of your station in God. God has taken pains to develop you into the image of His Son inside. The courts without are all you though. Part one speaks of the “Afterimage”, the fleeting and fading glimpse with which God reveals Himself. In German, it’s called nachbild, the suffix of which literally means “build”. We build upon that which God has shown us. It’s one thing to talk all around about the symbolism, but it’s lived out in the actual life.
“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)
He does now though. It’s your heart.
“And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” (1 Kings 9:3)
His heart in yours.