December 22, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." Exodus 25:8-9
God desired to dwell among His people and in the preceding verses instructs Moses regarding the specific materials that would be required to build it "exactly like the pattern I will show you." When you read of all the material that was to be used in the building of the Tabernacle you wonder where it would all come from. It's interesting to read what God said to Moses: "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give" (Exodus 25:2).
Only those who were prompted to give made an offering. Only those who had a heart for God and were led by God could contribute to the building of the Tabernacle. This was to be a symbol of God dwelling in their midst as they journeyed in the wilderness. We often think God needs our talents, our gifts and our money for the on-going ministry of His church. God has in the past and future gotten along very well without us and whatever we have to offer. We need to realize the reverse...we are the ones who need God. When we do not respond when prompted by God to give of whatever we possess (money, talent, gifts or time), we will be the losers. We will not be used of God to be a blessing or to glorify Him in some manner of His choosing. God will get the job done with or without us.
Notice the objective in having the Tabernacle built. "I will dwell among them" (v. 8). So many live as if it was a privilege for God to have created them. They are such wonderful people and have so much to offer and contribute to life. Their lives evolve around me, myself and I. How sad. If we could for a moment see ourselves as God sees us, we would be as Job when he said, "My eyes have seen you." What was his response? "I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6). The offering was to be received only from those who gave from the heart.
Notice the tabernacle was to be built and furnished only by the material that was needed for His plan. When we build a house we continually want to add a touch here or there, add this fixture of make some alteration to the original plan. God does not work that way. When we are serving Him in some capacity, we often seek to contribute from our own desires or resources. We want to deviate from God's plan, thinking our way is better, only to find we have failed His purpose and have brought devastating results to God's plan for our life.
In our daily life God seeks to mold our character, develop our faith and bring us into an intimate relationship with Him. His command was "Be ye holy for I am holy" (Leviticus 20:7). "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). It is not who we are, what we have or the talents we possess, but rather WHO HE IS and does He possess the whole of our life? His plan is that we may "be conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Romans 8:29). May we never be content with anything less.
We are the temple (the Tabernacle) for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Let me ask you. Is the temple--your life, your body, your walk, the whole of your being--reflecting the embodiment of HIS life? Are you manifesting the virtues of HIM who seeks to live His life through us? God who wants to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in every phase of your life. This is HIS PLAN for your life. He has designated the materials to adorn His temple (you) and the exact way the temple is to be built. May we follow His plan and purpose with unwavering obedience so our lives may be to the glory of His grace and be appropriate for His indwelling.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-22
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