Tuesday, December 22, 2015

You Can Build It Your Way, or You Can Build It HIS WAY.


Here’s a Secret: Our God is A God of Details

Exodus 25:9: “According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.”



We have often heard it said that when God asks us to do something for Him, He also equips us and gives us the resources to carry it out. This is exactly the case here. God had just told Moses He wanted the people to build Him a sanctuary and now He is telling Moses that they are to do it in accordance with all the instructions He gives them – right down to the details – the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of the furniture that will be placed inside.  And then God repeats the fact that He wants it “just so”.

And therein lies the secret to successful completion of any task that God has asked man (or woman) to carry out.  When it comes to obedience, as it relates to completion and success of an assignment from God, the secret lies in the “fine print”. There’s no cutting corners.  You can’t take short cuts.  You can’t augment the process with your own desires, creativity, or best intentions.  You have to do it God’s way.  And it helps if you or your leaders have taken the time to go up to the mountain and wait patiently on God as Moses had done.

So, yes, there is a time to build a sanctuary for God.  We do so symbolically every time we carry out His requests of us in our lives individually or collectively.  And we also do it physically when we as a group of believers, a local community, build a place of worship where we can corporately meet with Him, because He has told us He wants to dwell “among” us there.

Where we often go wrong is in how we strive to accommodate our own natural wishes in what we believe God is communicating through His instructions.  I want my kind of music, not yours. You want your way of sharing the Lord’s Supper and how often we do it, not mine.  They want their way of baptism, not ours.  And so on.

Maybe the “fine print” is not as fine as we think it is.  I don’t think so.  God’s fine print covers all the instructions we need.  Where we get into trouble with each other, and thus with God, is in the things that “we add” – the superfluous furniture, processes, ideas.  Each one of those humanly originated concepts has the potential of being divisive – and that, itself, is being disobedient to what God wanted and instructed for His sanctuary.

However, here again, God’s very “love” nature and His “patience” reigns supreme.  He allows us to make these interpretations of what He wants, as much as it hurts Him.  He allows (perhaps ‘tolerates’ is a better word) our differences down here because even while we sometimes resort to relying on our natural and non-spiritual instincts, He still wants us to participate in His plan for the redemption of the world.  There is room (and work) for all in the sanctuary of God.  But oh, what a delight it would be, if we each of us really and actively made an effort to be united with each other in more things than we are; to focus on what really matters; and to better model the very Trinity we believe in.


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