Sunday, July 17, 2011
Read: Exodus 25
Once you enter covenant with God there is no guarantee that every day is going to be a “gotta facebook this!” experience. The people of God exit the euphoria of dining with Yahweh and get down to the nuts and bolts of Revolution.
It doesn’t sound romantic but there has to be some preparation. Sometimes we get confused and think that, well, we “accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, so let’s preach to thousands and heal the sick and raise the dead.”
Though I’ve read it happening like that, it seems that a few other things have to be in place first. You actually need to get saved, not merely ask Jesus into your life. How? Mark 1:15: Repent and believe the good news! The thing is, it is not about you inviting Jesus into your life. It is about Jesus inviting you into His life. Do you get the distinction? One is all about you, where you’re going, your habits, your lifestyle. The other is about joining Jesus, where He is headed, in a great adventure that promises to impact globally and eternally.
Then you must get some things right in your life so that you can accomplish the things Yahweh has dreamed up for you. Paul took years that you don’t read about in the New Testament preparing himself to do all the exiting stuff you do read about (healing sick, confronting demons, raising dead, changing history).
There are character issues, discipline issues, training and skill issues. You need to cultivate the effective use of your gifts. You need to learn submission and service. You need to catch humility and experience holiness. And all of this is often worked out in the mundane, the monotonous and the trivial.
Tucked away in the detailed instructions for tabernacle and ark and table and lamp stand is a promise that is easy to miss. The Army caught it. In fact, we camp out on it.
The lid of the Ark of the Covenant was called the Mercy Seat (v.25). Now, you might recall the term “Mercy Seat.” It is the main feature of every Salvation Army meeting in every Salvation Army hall around the world. Our whole meetings and our whole meeting theology is centered on the Mercy Seat.
The Mercy Seat covers the covenant and the miraculous power of God. And in verse 22 Yahweh promises to meet with us there, at the Mercy Seat: “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.” Remember that on Sunday, and test it out.
What preparation does God want to make in your life this year for Revolution?
Have you really met God at the Mercy Seat (in miraculous, covenant intimacy)? Read the print in bold. Think about it. Talk about it.