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SEEK SANCTUARY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

July, 2000

By Mary Craig

Fifty years ago a gallon of gasoline cost 20 cents, a loaf of bread 14 cents, and the average home, $14,500, with the average American income being $3,216. Betty Crockerís Picture Cook Book was a best seller, the Xerox machine was just invented, Otis came up with the self-service elevator, and thousands of Burma Shave signs lined our highways. Peanuts and Dennis the Menace made their debut along with TVís Whatís My Line, Jack Benny, Roy Rogers, George Burns & Gracie Allen and a TV buying frenzy.

I was watching The Lone Ranger myself and listening to the wisdom of Smokey the Bear. In school we learned of the Soviet threat, and in 1958 the Science Fair buzzed with news of Sputnik models. Little did any of us dream that the Soviet period would come to end, except for those who were praying. MCM was in Godís mind, not mine, until 1989, when He called me into ministry.

Seven years ago this July Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. became a reality. Upon completion of this latest mission into Russia, Estonia, and the countries of Scandinavia, MCM teams will have ministered in 34 nations. Hundreds have found healing and hope, spiritual community, exalted worship, refuge and rest at Craighouse and MCM healing services. More have experienced spiritual growth and direction through MCM Bible studies, conferences, publications, radio outreach, and our new web site, marycraig.org. Your gifts and prayers and loyal support have helped to make this possible, for it is all in His Name, for His glory, and by His grace. THANK YOU!

On this mission, my husband, Rev. Jim Craig, took many pictures. Some were of doors. They reminded me that God offers a door of hope in the valley of Achor (trouble).

The people of St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, were not all convinced that life free of the soviet regime is better, but the people of Tallinn, Estonia, are. While oppression and little progress had been made in St. Petersburg, many restoration projects and much hope were evident among the Estonians. Churches long dead were coming to life again. I could only think, "Itís impossible to kill God!" He just couldnít be totally removed from the hearts and the minds of those who continued to worship, war, and wait. The day of the visitation of the Holy Spirit has come.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore. The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Psalm 125.2, 3

The one who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. When you root your life in the faithfulness of God, trusting in Godís goodness, you can make it through when everything in your world crumbles and collapses. Standing in a Russian Orthodox church in St. Petersburg were 20 to 30 elderly women, their heads covered and bowed. When they turned, you could see their faith had outlived, out-waited, and outwitted their oppressors.

We often think of the church worship center as the "sanctuary." We teach our children to respect it as a holy place. We gather there to serve God with our worship. We create there an atmosphere and architecture that reflects our theology. Often, however, it takes tragedy, trials, and times of persecution for those of the church to shake loose from the earthly security of our sanctuaries and seek sanctuary in the Holy Spirit alone.

If you make the Most High your dwellingóeven the LORD, Who is my refugeóthen no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91.9-11

Psalm 91 begins by informing us that the one who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. In the sanctuary of God Most High you find safety from the snare, safety from pestilence, night terrors, and enemy arrows. Acknowledge the Name of the LORD, and He will rescue and protect you.

In the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit would come upon a man or woman at various times, and God chose prophets, judges, kings, and priests to serve as vessels to mediate His presence. In the New Covenant, believers receive the very life of God and become "a temple of the Holy Spirit." (1 Corinthians 6.19) The church is not a building or programs, but people, living stones built upon the foundation of Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. Believers are called out ones, called to be a holy nation, the family of the Father, the household and house of God, a holy sanctuary and dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (Ephesians 2.19-22) Today, you carry the presence of God. You are a king and a priest unto God Most High. The light and love that flow out of you demonstrate to those around you that you are Godís holy domain, His dwelling-place, a place where people can come and find sanctuary.

You are a holy sanctuary in the Lord, a habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.21, 22) A sanctuary is "a holy place set apart from profane use for the purpose of worship of or communion with a deity." In Ephesus, a stone statue of Diana (Queen of Heaven) inhabited a temple. People came there to worship and commune with it. But "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with menís hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things." (Acts 17.24, 25) God dwells in relationship incarnate, in you.

As you worship, honoring the Blood of the Son, welcoming the glory of His Presence, the Spirit will come to move in your midst, to intercede, to bring you where Jesus is, to cause you to dwell/abide/enter the relationship of sanctuary. He will be your sanctuary as you are His sanctuary. He is your holy place and refuge as you are His holy place and tabernacle. He comes to dwell in you as you come to dwell in Him.

As you come to live in the relationship of sanctuary, you no longer need a tabernacle made with hands, for you are His tabernacle made with His hands. The refuge is in you and you in it, for He is in you, and you are in Him. You are encircled, enveloped, in Him as a hiding place, a shelteróthe secret place of the Most High.

As you are cleansed of all filthiness of flesh and spirit, you become that holy place set apart for Godís Spirit, and you are filled with His Spirit, permeated by His Spirit. You are clean, pure, according to the gospel of grace. Believe. Walk in it. Become. Beckon others to enter into your joy. Bring all of yourself for all of His Spirit.

See yourself as the holy sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, separated and free of defect. See yourself as a worship center, a place where the LORD of Hosts is sanctified (Isaiah 8.13, 14), a house of prayer for all nations(Isaiah 56.7), the abode of God to which He brings His redeemed people to reign over them as King (Exodus 15.17), a place for the Lord to dwell in your midst (Exodus 25.8).

The important factor in sanctuary is the presence of God, the establishment of right relationship with God. Mother church doesnít bring you into that right relationship. Jesus does. Jesus, by His Blood and righteousness, becomes that new and living way by which you have access to the Throne of Grace and Glory. Jesus, full of grace and truth, God Incarnate, is the Word become flesh who dwelt/tabernacled among us.

Now, that Word dwells/tabernacles in you through the Holy Spirit. You become the sanctuary of the Spirit. You are a refuge to those around you seeking rest for their souls. You have the water for which they thirst, the bread for which they hunger, the key that opens the door of their prison, the comfort of the Comforter, the clothing to cover the shame of their nakedness.

Sanctify the LORD of Hosts. Sanctify Jesus as Lord. Sanctify the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ. Sanctify life. Where does sanctity of life come from? It stems from love, for God is love and created you in His imageóto love. Love seeks not its own. Many abort life today because in their selfishness and self-preoccupation they seek only their own comfort, unwilling to suffer. Jesus came to suffer for the sin corrupting creation. People will not stop aborting life until they see the signature of the Creator on the creation.

He signed His Name in Blood, and His Name is the Word of God. He sent His Holy Spirit to bring life and preserve it. Love frees from death, expelling it, overcoming it. It stems from the goodness of God, His holiness.

You are the sanctuary of the Spirit. Do not be ashamed of Him or of the gospel of grace of which you are His witness. He is the Spirit of Christ, and He is given to you. He is "the gift." He is "the blessing." He is the passion of the Presence.

Calling the nations to resurrection,

Mary J. Craig, D.P.M.

Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, And they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, And be their God. Revelation 21.3

MAKING YOUR HOME A HAVEN

Wherever you find yourself, at home, in the workplace, in a hotel or motel, you can create a shelter of protection from demonic influence, a spiritual refuge, an oasis of Godís presence.

  1. Remove whatever desecrates the environment. Cleanse the place of "slime," the lingering effects of sin and wickedness. Cleanse it of all that defiles flesh and spirit. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You might pray, "Holy Father, I seek to make this a sanctuary for your Spirit. Cleanse this place. I apply the Blood of Jesus and these scriptures ________ now. Whatever things You detest, abominations, reveal them that they might be removed. Cleanse this place of all evil."
  2. Consecrate and set the place apart for Godís use and glory. Offer it to Him and invite His presence. Dedicate your home (2 Chronicles 6, Joshua 24.15) to God. Declare your intent verbally and visibly. You might pray, "Father, you are the Lord of this place. Fill my home with your holy Presence and use it for your purposes, to glorify your Name. Set holy, elect angels at its boundaries to shield and protect us from evil (John 17.15, 2 Thes. 3.3). Jesus has the authority here, His Word, His Spirit. In Jesusí Name, Amen."
  3. Honor the Lord. (1 Samuel 2.30) Consider the décor that adorns your home, the activities you have there, what you celebrate, and how.
  4. Discern and pray for the protection of your home and family. Be alert. Exercise spiritual authority. Discern and deal with evil influences. (John 10) Confront ungodly values. Example godly behavior. Resolve family issues (Ephesians 4).
  5. Endeavor to establish Godly heritage. (Psalm 102.28, 103.17, 18) Believe God to keep covenant with you.
  6. Bless others seeking shelter from the storms of life.
  7. Stand on the truth and fight for the peace and blessing of God in your family and in your home.

 
© 2000 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.

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