**Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. ** Exodus 25:1
I wonder if your week has been like mine. Problems, interruptions, too much to do, heartaches, trials, a seemingly unending trail of trouble, conviction over failures. Sometimes, life takes out of us more than it gives back.
Thankfully, our always Faithful God, sends good news from a far country so that we can refresh our spirits and renew our energy. Today, the Lord sent me something from His very own far away country. A breath of fresh air from Heaven. Words of Hope and Encouragement.
Here’s what He told me.
Here in Exodus, the Lord tells Moses that now is the time to build Him a tabernacle. A place where the Lord will dwell. The place that the people of Israel would know that He could be found. A place of rest, renewal and a place to worship Him.
In order to build the tabernacle, sacrifices had to be made. Offerings of great worth. Offerings of value. Offerings that were not easily come by. Offerings made willingly. Offerings that they volunteer to give.
Today, we are the Lord’s tabernacle. We are His temple. Yes, we are chosen by God and adopted into His family. But, we have to willingly accept the invitation into His family. We are volunteers at the cross. We choose to be children of the Most High God.
As the Lord builds His tabernacle, His temple in us, high priced offerings will have to be paid. Willingly surrendered. Wholly trusting Him by faith for what it will cost us.
At the moment of offering, it may seem the price is too high. Our health? Our children? Our spouse? Our financial security? Our country? Our freedom? Though each offering may bring pain or loss in the moment, the Lord will multiply our gift and create something extraordinary in us. A place where His Spirit will not only visit, but will build a home.
As we read on through the following chapters, the artisans of Israel get to work constructing this very special place where they can have direct access to their God. They will build the ark of the testimony of the miracles He has wrought to bring them to this place. They sew and embroider curtains, pound out spoons, forks and dishes. Intricate candlesticks and lamps will be molded to give light to the tabernacle. Boards, sockets and veils must be made. And the mercy seat. Oh, the mercy seat! His mercy seat that sits on the ark of the testimony. His mercy above all other things. His beautiful all encompassing mercy!
It takes several chapters to tell us the process of the building of the tabernacle. Of how the Lord uses every gift, every offering, every sacrifice and brings them all together to make a unique place where He will dwell with His people.
The same process is true for us. It doesn’t happen overnite. It can’t be Fed Exed or Amazoned or 3D printed. It is one stitch at a time. One hammer or one searing of metal at a time. The tabernacle was crafted with passion and surrender but it was not done in a hurry. Because it had to be done just as God said. Every detail. The Lord had an intricate blueprint. A perfect plan.
Just like He does for you and I. His dwelling in us isn’t a finished work done in the blink of an eye. Our salvation, yes. But the indwelling of the Spirit comes little by little. He has to make room for Himself. He has to get rid of some stuff that will get in the way of the candlestick’s light. He has some intricate stitching to do to beautify our countenance. Not with worldly beauty, but the beauty of a meek and quiet spirit. It is tedious work, even painful…the needle might slip and poke us from time to time. The hammer may come down just a little too hard. But the finished tabernacle will be a thing of beauty. Heavenly beauty.
One last thought. The court. What is the court for? It is the gathering place where others will come to visit the tabernacle and experience the presence of God.
The tabernacle was not made to be a museum piece. It was made so others could get a little closer to God. So they could meet with Him and worship Him and cast their cares on Him.
Just as our tabernacle should be a place that others can come to and find peace. To find answers. To find light. Our tabernacle should help others see Christ in us. To see His beauty. His kindness. His holiness. His mercy and love above all things.
So, if you’ve had a week like mine. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t throw in the towel. The Lord is just doing some detail work on His dwelling place. His Home in us. He needs to do a little more cleaning so that His Light can shine brighter. So that more people will be drawn to that Light. It might hurt as He scrapes away the not so beautiful parts. It might cost more than you thought you could give. But the results will be worth it.