[Exodus 30:8] "When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations."
The incense on the altar was a symbol of the prayers and intercession of the people to God. God wanted His dwelling to be a place where people could approach Him and pray continuously. As we approach our week, may our prayers rise to God without ceasing; not just for our family, friends and communities but, for the generations to come. “…for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)
Exodus 25:31 "You shall make a lampstand of pure gold..."
The Inner Court was covered with fine linens that allowed zero light from the outside world to enter. The purpose of the lampstand (or candlestick) in the Tabernacle was to illuminate the room. Our job as Christians is to be the light wherever we go. There is a children's song where it is proclaimed, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!". How can we shine for God? Jesus says that we are to let our lights shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify God. That's how we do it. We live for God. No matter how dark things appear this week, do not cover your light. You were saved to shine!
[Exodus 25:30] "...And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always."
The showbread was baked and placed on the table in the Tabernacle as an offering to God. The cakes were to be left on the table for a week, and then be replaced with new ones on the Sabbath, so that there were always fresh loaves on the table, and those that had started going stale were removed.
This week, let us all examine our hearts and find something fresh to offer up to God. He deserves something better than the stale leftovers that we have held onto for too long!
[Exodus 30:17-21] "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”
The bronze laver was known as a place of cleansing in the Tabernacle. There is a need to allow ourselves to stand in a place where God can cleanse and sanctify us daily.
[Exodus 25:8] "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them."
Webster's Dictionary defines the word "sanctuary" as "a place of refuge or safety". While God's presence is not confined to building or particular place, God Himself is ready to meet us wherever we are to provide the peace and comfort we need. When we were kids, we couldn't wait to run into the arms of our parents and feel protected from the snares of the world. Whatever you're facing this week, run into the arms of an almighty Father who will shelter you with love. Declare Psalm 91:2: "I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
[Rev. 3:7] "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."
In the moment, it is difficult to understand why God chooses to shut certain doors in our lives. It could be a door to a job, relationship, or any other "fill in the blank". However, when we look back on those doors that were closed, we can always see God's hand of mercy and grace upon our lives. This week, don't look for a window to climb through when a door was already shut in your life. Trust that God closed the door for a reason and he is leading you on the right path. Lean on Jeremiah 29:11!
[Romans 8:14-16] "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."
There is a huge difference between doing things for someone because you love them and doing things for someone because you want them to love you. Working yourself to death death trying to earn someone's love is a sign that you are operating out of a spirit of bondage. Our heavenly Father has not given us a spirit of bondage but the spirit of adoption. The spirit of adoption gives us the ability to love God so much that good works naturally come out of us.
God bless, and remember, YOU have victory in Jesus!
[1st Thessalonians 2:7-8] "But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us."
God has created us to be in relationships with other people. Every relationship will be at different levels but each one is important to our spiritual health. Don't isolate yourself! Get out there this week and share your time with people who need you and allow yourself to be strengthened by the people you need!