|Encourage Someone Today|
Series 2004—"prayer-starters—"Part 3
A Dwelling Place for God
God gave Moses a stern admonition to make Him a dwelling place in the earth according to a pattern from the heavens. What Moses led the people of Israel to build in the wilderness was but a type of the reality that is ours today.
DAY 1—It was God’s desire to dwell among His people and never forsake them.
Exodus 25:2,8 (The LORD God said to Moses,) Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering… And let them make Me a Sanctuary; that I may dwell among them Exodus 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
LORD, to know that Your desire is to dwell in the midst of Your people comforts my heart. Oh, how we need Your holy presence! Let Your Spirit call forth the Spirit of Supplications in those who know You in these places I name before You.
God has no desire that His people suffer, but that they turn to Him in prayer and supplication. Isaiah 55:6,7
DAY 2—When Israel moved with the presence of the Lord, their enemies were scattered.
Numbers 10:21,33-35 And the Kohathites (a priestly family of the tribe of Levi) set forward, bearing the Sanctuary: and the other did set up the Tabernacle against their coming (The tabernacle was to be set up before the camp of Israel arrived.). … And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the Ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
LORD, teach us the way of spiritual warfare when enemies who oppose Your Kingdom are at hand. Teach us to wait on You as You go before us to prepare our way. Teach us, and these I name, to move at the direction of Your Spirit.
Paul has laid out clearly how we are to deal with the spirits opposing God’s will. Ephesians 6:11-18
DAY 3—It is crucial that God’s people know and follow the leading of His Spirit
Joshua 3:1-3 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim (a place where Israel camped before they passed over Jordan), and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officer went through the host (the encampment); and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
LORD, teach us to follow the leading of Your Spirit in all matters of life. Teach us to seek Your presence and to remain always attentive to what You are doing. Bring this to pass among these of your people who are living in danger.
It is also important that God’s people follow the leadership of those He affirms. Joshua 3:5-13
If God, Who is holy would dwell in the midst of His people, their sin must be propitiated. Of old, this came by the sprinkling of the blood of a sacrificial bullock on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has become the eternal sacrifice for us. By the offering of His blood our sin is propitiated.
DAY 4—Jesus became like us that He might become our Great High Priest and open the way for us to know the presence of God.
Hebrews 9: 3-5 (Here is New Covenant reference to the “Mercy Seat.”) …And after the second veil, the Tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the Mercy Seat… Exodus 25:22 (A reference from the Old Covenant:) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the Mercy Seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the Testimony.
JESUS, I confess anew that You are the One Who bore my sin and guilt. Your blood upon the Mercy Seat of heaven opened the way for me to come before our Heavenly Father. Merciful High Priest, Lamb of Calvary, I praise You.
Jesus has delivered us from a lifetime of bondage, like the slaves of Egypt. Hebrews 2:9-15
DAY 5—God accepted the sacrificial offering of Christ Jesus as a propitiation for our sins.
Romans 3:25 (Paul tells of Christ Jesus) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (the Mercy Seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past (the forgiveness of sins previously committed), through the forbearance (patient restraint) of God.
Leviticus 16:15 (Here is the earliest practice:) Then shall he (the first High Priest, Aaron) kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his (its) blood within the veil (that shuts off the Holiest Place), and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat…
FATHER, I do praise You—and love You—for accepting the death of Christ Jesus as an atonement for my sin. Oh, JESUS, my great High Priest, You offered Your blood and died. My guilty conscience is now clean. I’m free to know Your indwelling presence!
Because of His death, Christ Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:13-15
DAY 6—The sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus was for every person in the world.
I Peter 2:24 Who His Own Self bare our sins in His Own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.
II Corinthians 5:18,19 And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us theWord of Reconciliation.
LORD JESUS, I want what You have done in my life to pass on to these others. Please let the Word of Reconciliation work in me toward these I now name before You. Give me sensitivity and compassion.
Here is the prayer of a man in deep distress, crying for someone who will care. Psalm 142
DAY 7—The atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus was the fullest expression of God’s love.
I John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
Deuteronomy 7:7,8a The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers.
FATHER, I see not only Your love, but also the faithfulness of Your Word. But now, we are seeing some of Your Promises under attack. Please give us eyes to see through the veil of darkness, to know and believe Your Word above all that seems to contradict it.
A prophetic song, celebrating the faithfulness of God in His Oath to Abraham. Luke 1:67-80
We will consider now the most awesome passage that gives record of God’s instruction to Moses regarding the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. It is here, at the Mercy Seat, that God chose to give the manifestations of himself. Here His Divine Glory was to be seen. Here Moses was to come to consult with the LORD as he lead the people of Israel.
DAY 8—We have a boldness in knowing God.
Exodus 17,18 And thou shalt make a Mercy Seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
Hebrews 10:19-23 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the House of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled (cleansed by the blood of Christ, without which we cannot draw nigh to God) from an evil conscience (having the deep sense of guilt taken away), and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)…
LORD, I hold to You and to Your Promises. And, oh, I know You are holding me! Let these with whom I fellowship—along with myself—grow into a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ, and where He is in us.
In Christ, we are a chosen people. I Peter 2:9,10
DAY 9—All the angels of heaven’s Host will worship the triumphant LORD as His glory becomes manifest in all the earth.
Exodus 25:20,21 And the Cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the Mercy Seat shall the faces of the Cherubim be. And thou shalt put the Mercy Seat above upon the Ark; and in the Ark thou shalt put the Testimony (the witnesses of the Covenant) that I shall give thee.
Revelations 5:11,12 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the Throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the Elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
LORD, please teach me—and these with whom I gather—to worship You in purity. Let not a day go by but that our hearts turn toward Your Throne. Show us Your glory and make manifest the greater dimensions of Your healing grace.
What was in the Tabernacle of Moses pointed to the grace of the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:1-15
DAY 10—The greatness of the Lord is ready to be manifest in the midst of His people.
Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the Mercy Seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the Testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
FATHER, what mercy You have shown in choosing to dwell among Your people! Show us Your glory. Let us know the greater ways of Your Covenant that is now in effect with us.
The sacrifices of the Old Covenant pointed to the one eternal Sacrifice of Christ Jesus in the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:16-28
We have not yet spoken of the Temple, but Paul has. Under the Old Covenant a Temple Solomon built replaced the Tabernacle of Moses. It too had a Most Holy Place. In the New Testament, there are two Greek words translated “temple.” One has reference to the whole structure of the Temple buildings. It is hiéron. The other has reference to the Holy of Holies. This word is náos. In the short time the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was the Temple, the náos, the Holy of Holies where God dwelt. Paul used this word in three further wonderful dimensions, which we shall see in the three following days.
DAY 11—As the living God dwelt in the Tabernacle of Moses, and in the Temple of Solomon, and in Jesus, so does His Spirit dwell within a true believer.
I Corinthians 6:19 What? Know ye not that your (human) body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
II Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? For ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
OH ANCIENT OF DAYS, I worship You. I acknowledge that You have redeemed me to dwell in me. Oh, let there be no unholy thing hidden in my life to grieve You! I want You to be pleased with my whole being.
We are called upon to keep our lives clean as a dwelling place for the Lord. I Corinthians 6:18-20
DAY 12—Paul called the local church (at Corinth) the Temple of God.
I Corinthians 3:16,17 Know ye not that ye (you, plural) are the Temple (náos) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you (plural)? If any man defile (corrupt to the point of having no use) the Temple (náos) of God, him shall God destroy (corrupt, the same word translated defile); for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple (náos) ye (you, plural) are.
DEAREST FATHER, bring upon us here the revelation of who and what we are together with one another. Let Your Spirit move so powerfully in our midst—and let there be such love—that we can have no doubt that You are dwelling among us. Oh, LORD, make our gatherings into meetings where miracles and healings take place.
The greater manifestation of God’s dwelling in our midst is the demonstration of love one to another. I John 4:12-21
DAY 13—The Church universal is being built together as a holy Temple.
Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth (is continually increasing) unto a holy Temple in the Lord: in Whom ye also are built together (constructed together out of all kinds of people) for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond (slave) nor free, there is neither
male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
DEAR FATHER, what awe comes to my soul when I consider that all of us who have received Your Son are You one great Temple. Please move among us all. Bring down the divisions. Help us see that what makes us one is our joining in Your Son Jesus.
There is one way of salvation open to all, among all people, to make one body, for one glorious dwelling place for the Lord. Romans 10:8-13
DAY 14—The ministries Christ has set in His Body are for the joining together of His redeemed people.
Ephesians 4:11-13 And He gave (appointed) some, Apostles; and some, Prophets; and some, Evangelists; and some, Pastors and Teachers; for the perfecting (knitting together) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the (full) knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man (a mature person), unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…
LORD JESUS, let these ministries You have appointed come into their fullness. Let them be pure ministries. Let Your Body recognize them and grow thereby unto the full measure of the Body in whom You will be pleased to dwell.
When all Christ’s Body recognizes His headship, it shall come to the completion that fits it for His dwelling place. Ephesians 4:14-16
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