I googled the word “sanctuary” expecting to find considerable wordage in an attempt to capture the meaning of something very special, but what came up was: A place of refuge and safety.
That’s it? How dull! How boring! How little effort given to describe something so badly needed by one and all! What a narrow and lackluster explanation! Who could get a full picture of the magnificent beauty and importance of sanctuary from those pathetic words!
Therefore, I am making it a subject here. What is sanctuary to you? I believe it is different for different people, and will always reveal deep things concerning that person. It reveals who they really are, what they flow in, and what recharges them, whether good or bad!
I believe a sanctuary should reveal a person’s natural giftings. For example, for a person mechanically inclined, a garage could become a sanctuary. For someone who loves nature, it could be a garden spot. For a writer, a quiet room with inspiring view. For some it could even be a small apartment in a big city full of people energy. But in all of this, I also challenge that a true sanctuary should also make us more godly, and if it does not, then your sanctuary reveals you to be someone having little interest in knowing and obeying your Creator. Your sanctuary reveals you, and you are not in a safe place.
A personal sanctuary is about who we are. We fill it with what inspires and encourages us to keep going, stay on track, regain strength, to find refuge and safety as we bask in what we choose to be. A better person? A lover of money? A sexual deviant lusting in porn? A spiritual person seeking Skykingdom? A lover of God? What is a sanctuary to you, and do you have one? Does your sanctuary embarrass you if others see it? Or if God showed up at your door?
I see a sanctuary as a “NEED”. For the sake of our mind, soul, spirit, and health, we need a safe place to get away from the high stress of this world and recharge in peace, soul, spirit. It is a huge advantage to being a better person each day, and staying true to who God has called us to be, unless your quiet place is actually evil, and your light is actually darkness.
A “car guy” might get recharged in his garage. It’s his place to get away and let his gifting flow. But whether his sanctuary is good or bad depends on what he does with it. What is it filled with and what flows out of it? A gifted mechanic or body-man has a ready made pulpit to people needing that kind of help, “IF” he chooses to use it that way. But all kinds of cussing, drinking, and debauchery could flow out of that same place. A sanctuary full of evil and ungodliness.
Obviously I’m writing to encourage and recommend every person have a sacred sanctuary that recharges them in soul, spirit, and God. With a little consistent effort most people can create such a place if they really want to, and for many of us it is not even very expensive if we use our creative imagination and think outside the box. It is amazing what a small space can be turned into when we create sanctuary. It does not have to be big at all! You already have a living space, now what can be done with it? Or do you need to trade it off for a little different space?
My personal spiritual DNA gets recharged in quiet, solitude, God, prayer, contemplation, study, reading, writing, teaching, and I love nature. I was raised a country boy. I love outdoors and the beauty of nature, but I live in a big city. I have ghetto type hoods not ten minutes away. On a Thursday night just last week 5 people were shot and stabbed there! It was not even a weekend! One died! But I have 3-4 miles between me and them and I happened to find a very rundown home on a small dead-end street that is pretty unnoticed. God will provide if you try! My wife and I chose this place more by how it “felt” than how it looked. Some privacy fence and before you know it, you can have a secret garden in a jungle world. (I do recommend God’s help.)
I have always had one room of my house, no matter how small, as my spot to get away. That room has always been full of the things that inspire me. Over the years we have slowly transformed this house, but when I retired I went full time to working on this place and I had no idea just what could be done if you have some vision! Our actual plot of ground is very small, but our sanctuary has grown and is providing big impact from a small area! Less can be more! Everyone who visits is affected, because I have a sanctuary I can share and not be ashamed. It offers light and inspiration, not worldly rot.
Basically…we’ve bought second hand materials a little at a time, as we could afford…opened up three rooms…put in large windows… raised the ceiling… and then created a small animal and bird refuge surrounding this special area of our simple house. We could not afford professionals, I’ve done it all. It is full of the beauty and peace of God and nature. People are affected by it. We are recharged by it every day, as the seasons change and God’s art work constantly moves. It has been a lot of work, but oh so worth it in return inspiration! It renews my youth!
Now granted, if your sanctuary is a garage to create hotrods or fix sick vehicles; your sanctuary may not come cheap. There may be some real money involved. But if you lay it before God, and think outside the box, you might be surprised what you can do, and be serving God at the same time! I call my place a Holy Spirit Dojo and we train people in things of God here. I worked jobs that drained me all my life, but this work charges me!
So give it some thought. Pray about it. Look at whatever spot may be your current sanctuary and what does it reveal about you? Is this what you want to be? Is it godly? If so, then make it even better! But if not, then it’s time for change. Change your sanctuary and in the changing, your temple, your body, will become a better sanctuary for God! It’s a WIN / WIN!