I’ve never seen the real Tabernacle, nor the Temple that Solomon had built, nor the Temple that stood when Jesus walked this earth. I’ve never had a earthly High Priest enter the Holy of Holies on my behalf, and enter into the presence of God for me.
Yet, through the grace of God, I have been in His presence and there is simply nothing that quiets the soul or gives us rest or calms our troubled hearts like being in His beautiful presence. King David in the Old Testament is among many who experienced this reality.
Psalm 27:4 NIV “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
We know, of course, that the Tabernacle and the Temples were just material representations of heavenly realities, and that God is a spirit who is not confined within any material structure. But for a time, to show us of Himself, He did in fact, represent Himself within these material things, so that we might become aware of His Holiness and what separated us from Him and what would be needed to make that separation between us and God go away.
And now, because of what Jesus did for us, as believers, God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us and we can come into the presence of our God whenever we want. The curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the Temple, has been rent, from the top to the bottom, and we have access to God through Jesus, His Son, our High Priest. And our sins, which formally separated us from God have been eradicated because of the shed blood and laid down life of Jesus, for us. And because Jesus now lives, we live now and shall live with Him when we leave this earthly life behind.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when we need God the most, when He sometimes feels distant or silent, or when we face a serious problem, our humanistic tendency is to NOT seek His presence? I’ve learned from experience that it takes time to come to the realization that the better solution, the prudent solution, the wise solution, is always to go to Him. And not as an afterthought but as the initial thought or action.
I may not always understand, I may not always comprehend, I may not always feel His presence, but He is there and He does understand. And He is in me and I am in Him and there is no greater peace than that. Knowing this and believing and trusting in this reality, is what faith in God is all about, whether the feelings are there or not.
Interestingly enough, many times, going to God when there are no feelings of closeness at all, brings into being, the awareness that He is there and that He knows our need. It’s like doing good for someone else that you know is right and after you have done it, that witness of righteousness is there that can’t be denied. The witness follows the action, not the action following the witness. There’s a pattern there if you look for it.
That part in David’s psalm where he mentions about the beauty of the Lord is something that only God can impart to us because it is a spiritual reality and it is only visible when He brings us into the awareness of His beauty. And I have tasted, and I have seen and there are no words which can adequately describe that reality. David knew that reality because you can’t write about it like that unless you have known it. Notice how David puts a very high priority on this reality. “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:” And why is that? Because nothing, absolutely nothing surpasses the beauty and wonder of being in the presence of the Lord.
Do you ever wonder why it is that God doesn’t allow us to experience the wonder and beauty of His presence more often? Or why He says in Psalm 34:8 NIV “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”?
I think it is because He wants us to realize the value and worth of Him and the spiritual reality and considering that we are continually surrounded with the material reality 24/7, He needs to shift our focus on the greater worth and the greater reality. That is where stretching our faith and trust in Him comes into play. The battle between the values of the material and spiritual is real and it is precisely because of the difference between the material and spiritual realities that Jesus said we must become “born again”.
John 3:7-8 NIV “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
So now we “taste“, but one day we shall feast because we shall see God face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!