but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect1 Peter 3:15
Sanctify – set apart as holy. When you first came to Christ did you build a sanctuary in your heart for Him? Did you frequent that sanctuary for fellowship with Him?
Have you ever used a dictionary to look up Sanctuary? https://www.thefreedictionary.com/sanctuary
sacred place, holiest part of a sacred place, condition of being protected or comforted, a place of refuge or asylum, a consecrated building or shrine, protection provided from such a place
Now I would like you to go to that dictionary site and read the list thinking of the place in your innermost being where you meet with the Holy Spirit. Dwell in that place for a few moments. Can you imagine ever abandoning that place for the things of this world?
If we abandon meeting with our Trinity in our place of sanctuary we are well on our way to darkness and confusion. Have you spent time there lately?
I tell people I do not care where you go to church, whatever denomination or non-denomination. But, do you know Jesus and have you spoken with Him today?
Why is this important?
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:1-2 NRSV
Some place inside you there must be a place where the center down silence can flourish. A place where you close your mouth and open your ears for the whispers of that still small voice. A sanctuary where you can meet with God. An altar where you can offer your sacrifices of praise, a contrite heart, put to death your pride and arrogance, sit with His loving arms around you.
In the article at https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/reasons-god-appeared-to-elijah-in-a-gentle-whisper.html, author Clarence L. Hayes, Jr. says:
If there is one thing that is required for God to show up and speak in this manner it is this. You must make room for his presence and you must tune your ear to his voice. What I mean by this is that the ones who hear God speak most often are the ones who have prepared themselves to listen. Most people will not hear God speak audibly; you may hear God speaking to your heart through prayer, or you may hear God speaking to you through reading the Bible. Jesus has left us with an advocate and helper who lives within all believers, the Holy Spirit.
I would encourage you to take moments of stillness. As powerful as God is, his presence so often shows up in the most gentle, loving fashion. Like he did with Elijah he wants to meet you in your personal space. A hidden treasure in the significance of God appearing to Elijah in a gentle whisper is that God met with him one on one. Regardless of your situation, God cares. He is not too busy to meet with you. In fact, he invites you in. He wants to meet with you one on one and help you with your most pressing situation. Don’t worry he’s not coming with earthquakes and fire. He’s coming with gentle compassion because he loves you and cares for you and wants to meet you right where you are.Crosswalk, Clarence L. Hayes, Jr.
Create that sanctuary within you. Build your own altar. Begin to inhabit that place of abiding, dwelling with the Lord of All.
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10 NIV
This is your calling as a Christian. It is not just for the educated, the appointed, the priests, deacons and bishops only. This is for you. Yes, you!
How is that nest coming along? Do not abandon it even if you have not visited there in a while. The Lord is waiting to meet with you there.
So Close - music below The great wind's blowing And the rock's tore loose, but I Couldn't find You anywhere And the earthquake came And the fire raged, but I Couldn't find You anywhere [Pre-Chorus: Brandon Lake] Then with the whisper You came Gently reminding me To never be afraid [Chorus: Brandon Lake & Amanda Cook] Heaven's closer than it's ever been I can feel You so close, so, so close When it feels like my world's caving in Oh, God I need You so close, so, so close Verse 2: You can turn this cave To a holy place, you won't Let a tear herе hit the ground You're the guard who stays Till thе morning breaks And all of my fears go crashing down Oh, oh-oh Chorus Heaven's closer than it's ever been I can feel You so close, so, so close My ever-present, never failing friend I can feel You so close, so, so close [Bridge: Amanda Cook with Brandon Lake] You're the end of all anxiety The safest place for suffering Remind me once again that You're enough Speak into these empty lies Revive my heart, renew my life Remind me once again that I am enough And I won't waste another breath On fear of never, fear of death Even when I second guess Your loveI pray that on this Sunday you can make time and space for a little more closeness with God.