February 10 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 39-40 and Psalms 40
Here, in the last chapter of Exodus, we find a group of people who made a concerted effort to approach the Lord with sincere hearts and according to God’s will. He responded, of course, and did wonderful things in their lives. This is a pattern repeated in both the Old and New Testaments. At the dedication of the first Temple in Jerusalem, a very similar supernatural encounter with God occurred. Even in the upper room (Acts 2), the disciples were gathered in unity and constant prayer for several days when they received a great visitation of God. The only instances where God did not respond to people approaching Him with sincerity and fervour were when “other issues” got in the way.
It really is the same today – God responds to those who diligently seek Him – those who turn to Him with pure motives. Do we require the same elaborate preparations that Moses made? No – not at all, but I believe spiritual preparation can be made as we approach God. It has to do with preparing our hearts – an attitude of thanksgiving, praise and worship. It may even entail repentance and a renewed acknowledgment of our relationship with Jesus as our great High Priest – but in this day of grace and living in the love of God, WE ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit. His presence is with us constantly as we live and “abide in the vine”.
Psalms 40 seems to reinforce the manner in which we should approach God – “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced”. This passage indicates that we indeed “belong” to the Lord – that we are His treasured possession, if indeed He has become Lord and Christ to us. We have full confidence in approaching God, knowing that he hears us and that as we wait on Him, He responds.
God hasn’t changed – He has always desired to meet with us in intimacy. Do you recall Genesis 3: 8-9 when God came in the cool of the day to commune with Adam and Eve? Scripture does not say so directly but I’m left with the impression that this was an every day event. Tragically, one day, this “meeting” did not go well, as disobedience had separated Adam and Eve from God. Thanks to Jesus; we no longer have a barrier between God and mankind when Christ dwells in us. We live in a wondrous, peace-filled, eternal relationship with the King of Kings who delights in us as we walk with Him. “The glory cloud” of that original tabernacle now rests on you and “the fire” now dwells in you.
1. Evaluate the spiritual preparation you personally make when coming to a place of corporate worship.
2. What does the Psalmist mean in Psalm 40 when he says, “Your Law is within my heart”?