“Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.”
A sanctuary is a place of refuge or safety from that which would want to destroy a person. You have heard of sanctuary cities; places where those who have illegally entered a country found a place of refuge from those who would want to deport them. God says that He wants to be your sanctuary place. He wants to be the place of refuge and safety from Satan and the world. However, going to the sanctuary place is your choice. There is a sanctuary place for every believer, but the believer must choose to enter that sanctuary place if they want to be safe from the wiles of Satan and the world. How does the believer find the sanctuary place? God shows six ways to enter the sanctuary place.
First, get out of the world. Verse 17 says, “…I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries…” You will never live in God’s sanctuary place until you choose to leave the world. God could only save His people when they were assembled “out of the countries.” Likewise, you are never safe as long as you choose to live in the world.
Second, confess your sins. Verse 18 says, “…and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.” Once you leave the world, you also need to leave the vices of the world. You can’t live in God’s sanctuary place and be safe from sin when you bring your sin with you.
Third, get one heart with God. Verse 19 says, “And I will give them one heart…” You will only get one heart with God by walking with Him in the Scriptures and prayer. It is hard to get a heart for God when you never spend time with Him. You will only get one heart with God by allowing His Word to influence your mind and heart. You must have a daily time of study in the Scriptures and a walk with Him in prayer if you want your heart to be influenced by God.
Fourth, yield to the Holy Spirit. God continues in verse 19 by saying, “…and I will put a new spirit within you…” You can’t be safe from the enemy when you allow your spirit to guide you. Only the Holy Spirit can keep you safe. My friend, you must stop allowing your spirit to control what you do. Just because something feels right doesn’t make it right. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth when you yield to Him. It is only by yielding to the Holy Spirit that you can be guaranteed that you will be walking in the way of truth.
Fifth, serve the LORD. You can only live in God’s sanctuary place by serving Him. Verse 20 says, “That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them…” You are guaranteed to be safe from sin’s harm as long as you obey the LORD and serve Him.
Sixth, give yourself only to God. Verse 20 ends by saying, “…and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” God doesn’t want to share your life with the world; He wants you to be exclusively His. My friend, when you give yourself exclusively to God, you will find that He is all that will matter to you. You cannot live in God’s sanctuary place when you are sharing your life with God and your career, the world, or your desires. When you give yourself only to God is when you will find the place of refuge and safety in God’s sanctuary place.