Entering the Tabernacle
The Christian lifestyle is more than what any religion can offer. Many other religious experiences offer gods that you must satisfy with rituals and many prayers, and then after all that you may possibly receive a touch from that god. The Christian experience is a lot different because our God touches us first before He asks anything of us. I believe it safe to say that the all true Christians began their relationship with the Lord after God manifested His reality to them with a touch from Himself that left them changed and desiring closeness to Him. And so began the journey to seek a living God, to know Him to feel Him, to work for Him, but above all to speak and enter into an eternal relationship with Him.
And this is the foundation of our walk with God, that He can be approached, as you approach a loved one whom you have a relationship with. According to John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Our walk with Christ is a relationship, and a way to comprehend our relationship with the Almighty is seen through a walk into the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle had three distinctive areas each unique in its own way, but more also that each shows us a way to the closeness to our God. I will walk you through a Christian experience into the true worship, true nearness to God as we walk into the entrance of the Tabernacle.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Rom.12:1
I wave the curtain out of my way and take a deep breath. I stare at the altar of holocaust; it is my first stop as I enter into the outer court of the tabernacle. The Altar of holocaust or bronze altar was the place of continual sacrifice as Jews in the wilderness would bring their sacrifices willingly to the Lord. Sacrifices of lambs, bulls, goats and other animals were made on the altar of burnt offering. In the days of the tabernacle the Israelites were restored to right relationship with God by offering blood atonement on the altar. The Priest would have not been able to enter into the Holy Place or Holy of Holies without first having offered a sacrifice for himself. We also cannot get close to God unless there is a sacrifice that allows us to be justified. Praise God because Jesus is our Sacrifice that has justified us. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Rom.5:1. By being justified by the Lamb of God I will get free access to God. But we are to understand that a selfish person is of no use to God. A life of continual sacrifice is what is acceptable to God. Jesus was our prime example. We must live our lives in a continual obedient sacrifice to the Lord not putting our lives first, but sacrificing our selfish, fleshly desires. My flesh should be consumed daily as Scripture says; "reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Rom.6:11). Our fleshly life is to be hanging on the cross, or in this case in the fire which is a type of a cross, so that we may be tested and proved by God. “So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). The fire in the Bronze Altar was to never be turned off according to Levi. 6:13 "a fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out." So also must the fire in me for God never be extinguished either. Jeremiah seems to know this all too well, as he entered into a stage of depression, and wanting to quit. But he records that he felt a fire that did not give him the ability to go through with it, so I too must keep my closeness to God so in the time of trials by fire, I too can get that fire response from within to help me through.
"But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not." Jer.20:9