March 10, 2021
Dear Praying Believers,
Thank you for your consistent desire to pray for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer has manifold benefits, one of which is enabling a closer walk with God. The late J. Oswald Sanders said, “Once the joy of intimacy with God has been experienced, life becomes unbearable without it.” How very true!
Leviticus has a lot to say about the tabernacle. The realms of closeness with God are pictured in the setup. My NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible calls them the five zones of purity, from outside the camp to the camp, to the courtyard, to the holy place, to the holy of holies.Outside the camp was considered the unclean realm. The fullness of God’s presence resided in the inner sanctuary, and it was a forbidden place, except on the rare once-a-year occasion when the high priest cautiously entered with blood to make atonement for the people.
When Christ died on the cross, this curtain that kept people from entering the holy of holies was torn from top to bottom (Mat. 27:51). It was one of the great miracles that accompanied Christ's death. According to Hebrews ten, this torn curtain symbolizes a “new and living way” for the believer. It is a completely different way of living that is marked by closeness to God, sincerity of heart, assurance of faith, a clear conscience, unswerving hope, sacrificial love, and a desire to perform good deeds (Heb. 10:19-25). This is a good description of what God desires for our present life of faith.
The torn curtain represents this way of life in Christ. We do not come and go from His presence, we live, we dwell, we exist in this place of nearness to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He enables us to be as close to God as we want to be. Because Christ has provided this through His death on the cross, this can be true for every believer, because Christ has provided the basis for it at the cross, but we need to cultivate this closeness. We need to live in the good of it.
To live in the good of it means to bring Him into the details of your life. It means to talk with Him on a continual basis. It means to lift your heart in praise to Him when you see something that reflects His glory. It means to worship Him at the mention of His name and to cry to Him when you are desperate. Living in nearness to God is a special place of privilege!
May the experience of intimacy with Him become more and more real in each of our lives.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel