“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34
God’s glory filled the tabernacle after Moses and the Israelites built it just “as the LORD commanded.” The importance of that phrase is emphasized by the fact that Moses repeated it 15 times in Exodus chapters 39 and 40. God had commanded every detail of the making of His tabernacle—the exact measurements, materials, colors, furnishings and their placement and the design of the priestly garments. He equipped His people with the skills and artistic gifts to do just as He commanded. And He gave them willing, generous hearts to give so abundantly towards this divine dwelling place that they had to be restrained from giving (vs. 36:6). Their complete obedience was rewarded as God’s glory so filled the tabernacle that Moses couldn’t even enter. Is our desire to do just as God commands so we can experience a greater degree of His equipping, provision, generosity and guidance? What would it be like if our lives and churches were so filled with God’s presence and glory that there was no room for human will?
God is still concerned today with the details of how His people’s lives and His church are built, and obedience to His Word is still critical to experiencing His presence and glory. In the Great Commission Jesus said that He will always be with us as we make disciples and teach them to obey everything He commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). He also said if we love Him, we will obey His commands and He and the Father will make their home in us (John 14:23). Obedience not only makes room for their presence, it reveals their presence. And it reveals God’s glory because the more we obey God’s Word, the more we look like Jesus who is the glory of God (John 1:14). For Christians, it is not about building a structure where God can dwell but preparing hearts and souls that Jesus can fill. So where might God be calling us into a greater obedience to His Word so we can experience and reveal to the world the fullness of His glory?
Prayer: Father, we know that we all fall short, so please forgive us when our earthly lives dull your glory. Help us to remove those things from our lives that dim the world’s view of your Son. Where your glory has left our lives and our churches, please help us to repent and return to obeying all of your Word. Show us the fullness of your glory Lord. Let it overwhelm our lives, our ministries, our missions and our sanctuaries to the point that there is no room for our human will. Equip us, inspire us and give us willing and generous hearts, as we are obedient to your Word and call. Help us to be people that do just as you commanded. May we look so much like your Son in our words and deeds that He overflows on everyone you put in our path. May we be emptied of our selves, our ways and our plans so that whatever we do, it will be for your glory. May we become less, so you can become all. In your great and glorious name, Jesus Christ. Amen.