Weekly Bible Study - Week 4 - God's Dwelling Place - from my Woman of Faith Study Bible weekly study. Here's what I learned (straight from the study is in italics):
Described in Exodus 25:17-22 and 26:31-34 is the ark, the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place itself, where God meets with Moses. The court is large because many worshipers gather there. The Holy Place is smaller because only priests can enter. And the Most Holy Place is smallest - only the high priest can enter. Each location brings the worshiper closer to the actual presence of God. The curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place shields the ark (the symbol of God's presence) from view. The shield not only keeps the priests from seeing God's glory, but also prevents God's glory from being in the presence of sin.
At Christ's death, this curtain was wondrously torn in two from top to bottom!!!! (Matthew 27:51) ALL believers today, not just the high priest now have access to the Most Holy Place beacuse of the shed blood of Jesus (Heb 10:19-20). There are Christian denominations who don't understand this!! God isn't in a certain place in the church buildings we build. He isn't behind the choir. He isn't only accesible to certain priests. He isn't only at the vatican. Christ's blood covers sin and allows believers, ALL believers no matter what, FULL access to and intimacy with Almighty God!!!!!!
What is keeping you from the Most Holy Place now!? Does your busyiness get in the way? Do you think with your head too much and not your soul? Is it just too "weird" to think that God's presence is in you?! Most little children understand that when they accepted Jesus, God was now IN them, do we still understand this as adults?!
God has chosen where He will dwell, and He has chosen to live in ME, in YOU. It's a very REAL thing. It's not a "that's a nice, cute idea" concept. It's the Truth and it's available to all who believe.
God has CLEARED the way for you to enter His presence! Exactly where you are right now -- not just on Sundays --- but in your daily life. He is there... it may be hard to picture Him in your daily life -- in moments full of stress, sin, discouragement, mundaneness, hopeless stressful times -- but that is where He loves and wants to be! Right WITH you fighting with you, for you. ***See the new quote I added to the right hand column of my blog ****
After Jesus was crucified for us, the only thing that now keeps us back from Him, is US. He has left it in our hands and given us the free will to do with our minutes as we choose!!
Ask the Holy Spirit to move in you with such intensity that you will no longer be content to remain in either the outer court or the Holy Place but will be satisfied only with the full intimacy of the Most Holy Place.
For those that don't understand -- ask for help! It's always better to do SOMEthing than nothing. Take a small step of faith even if it's just reading the Bible. Most can't jump into the Most Holy Place - it is a place we have to seek out daily. Take the small step today to get there! Open your Bible, sit in prayer, do something!
Picture Jesus standing between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place with His arms outstretched, His Hands holding the edges of the torn curtain. If you desire to go beyond the curtain, you must walk into His arms. When you do, His arms will enfold you, drawing the edges of the curtain around you, closing you off from everything but His presence. Nothing else will matter.
You will be complete in Him, enjoying His presence and love.
I have had SO many prayers requests come to me in the past month. I have so many people around me hurting. There is pain suffering sadness anger and discouragement all around. But as I always seem to be the one on the mountain when everybody around me is in a valley (and vice versa)......I'm here to say, hope is never gone. Don't be ashamed or embarassed of any of your feelings, just run into Jesus' arms just as you are right now. Things won't get easier in an instant -- but He will offer you a peace that doesn't make sense and a comfort you can't find anywhere else. I don't offer cliches like "count your blessings"...instead I will say what I always say to Raymond throughout our day --- Jesus loves you! Life can be hard, but God is good all the time! Hope may appear to be gone...but that is just because we are using our worldy eyes and worldy mind. Go to Him and ask for a moments rest from our worldy view. He will pull the curtain around you and you will be hopeful even though your cirumstances are trying to convince you not to be.