Monthly Archives: February 2019

27. Stay close to God

Last week we saw that there were lion, oxen and cherubim carvings on the carts supporting the water basins. We saw that the lion represents leadership and primarily the Lion of Judah, Jesus Himself. And as we follow Him and stay close to Him, we will be safe from the devil prowling around looking at whom he may devour. We needn't fear with Jesus by our side, loving us and looking after us.

Now today I want us to have a look at the other carving on the carts, namely the cherubim. If we have a look at the Bible, Cherubim are often mentioned as God dwells between the Cherubim (Psalm 80:1, Psalm 99:1).

They are first mentioned where they were instructed to guard the access to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were banished from it - Genesis 3:24.

Cherubim are depicted as powerful creatures. In Ezekiel 1, Ezekiel is shown a powerful vision. He is shown four Cherubim surrounding the movable Throne of God. They had 4 faces, one human, one ox, one lion and one eagle - symbolizing power and wisdom. They are mobile and can move in any direction that God chose:

"…they went wherever the spirit wanted to go and they did not turn when they went." Ezekiel 1:12

Their role is to guard God's holy domain and presence from any sin and corruption. They also praise and worship God day and night before His throne:

"The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" Revelation 4:8.

Therefore it is safe to say that Cherubim are guardians, praising God, filled with power and wisdom and they can move without effort in any direction that God chooses. They stay close to Him and glorify Him. They know exactly what to do as He instructs them.

We can learn a lot from the Cherubim. We should also be guardians of all that is good. We should defend God's Name and we should protect our souls from the onslaughts of the evil one. We should also be flexible and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and move in whichever direction He leads us. And we should praise God in every situation. But above all, we should stay close to Him like the Cherubim. We should stay close to His throne, close to His heartbeat. Because when we are close, we can feel Him breathing, we can experience His heart of love and we can know what He wants us to do without even thinking twice.

That is all that God wants. He wants us living and breathing within His presence every moment of every day. Then we will hear His voice more clearly and we will know which route to take. Then we will move when His Spirit moves just like the Cherubim and protect His honor and glory wherever we go. Prayer within the presence of God is quickly answered, the manifestation might take long, but the prayer is answered and the peace that surpasses all understanding will reign in your heart. Therefore if you do not know the answer to your prayer at the moment, something that you have been praying very long about, ask yourself where you are finding yourself? In the throne room of God or in the board room of life? If God were to answer our half-hearted prayers originating from the board room of life, it will be an insult to Him and will not draw you closer to Him. Only in His throne room are all the answers to life. Come and enter, He is waiting for you.

Thank you Father that You show us so much symbolism in Your Word. Thank you for showing us in Your Word powerful Cherubim protecting Your honor. We learn a lot every day and we want to stay by Your side just like they do. Thank you that it is now possible because of the blood of Your Son. We love You. Amen

 

26. Don't fear, the Lion of Judah is with you

Last week we learned that the ten water basins represented the righteousness of God. These basins were placed five on the right side of the Temple and five on the left. And the number of five is grace. Therefore we learned that God's righteousness can only be obtained through grace (God's unmerited, unearned favor). Nothing we can ever do can make us earn God's favor. It is a free gift from above, all because of the finished wonderful work of Christ.

Now today we are going to start to look at the ten carts in which the ten water basins were placed. These carts were beautifully decorated. And I want us to have a look at the symbolism of these carvings on the cart and what it represents.

"And this was the design of the carts: They had panels, and the panels were between frames; and on the panels that were between the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim." 1 Kings 7:28, 29

A couple of weeks back we had a look at oxen and we came to the conclusion that oxen represents Christians who are strong, loyal, hardworking, groundbreakers, dedicated to Him and Him alone. So today we will have a look at the symbolism locked in the carving of a lion.

Now we all know that the lion is nicknamed the king of the jungle, and with good reason. A lion is a powerful animal (Proverbs 30:30), ready to devour its prey, and not scared of anything. Animals and people alike listen when lions roar.

Lions are also mentioned throughout the Bible in several text verses. I have selected a few. Let's have a look:

Jesus is mentioned as being the Lion of Judah:

"Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." Revelation 5:5.

God is also depicted as roaring like a lion and when He does, His children come - Hosea 11:10. The righteous are also likened to the boldness of a lion - Proverbs 28:1. Nebuchadnezzar/Babylon was depicted as a lion in Daniel 7:4, as they ruled the whole known world.

Lions therefore depict to us rulership, boldness and mighty power. We have all of this, because of His mighty Spirit inside of us! All majesty and power and glory are due to the Lion of Judah that overcame sin and Who will rule this world for all eternity. And we are part of His body and therefore we should stand up for who we are and not be scared of the devil prowling around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). We should never give him a foothold to come close to us, but we should stay close to the Lion of Judah Who had defeated him.

The devil makes me think of Scar in the Lion King film. He was an outcast lion, not strong enough to defeat Mufasa, the leader of the pride. The devil is the same; he is not strong enough to defeat Jesus. In fact he is an imitator of Christ, trying to be the mighty Lion that He is. But the truth is, he is nothing compared to powerful Jesus. And because he cannot do anything to Him, he walks around looking for rebellious cubs to devour, not staying close to their Leader…. We therefore need to be obedient and listen to the mighty roar of the One looking out for us and stay close to Him.

Look in the mirror today and see the Lion of Judah roaring through you. When you look and you see this reflection, walk with the humble power that comes with it. A lion is not scared of little jackals running all around him. He is not fazed by what the stock markets say, or what the people predict all around him. He is not worried about his cubs, as they will be protected with him around. He roars and animals listen. He roars and troublemakers flee. Stand up as the lion that you are in Him. Walk closely by His side. In His pride you are safe, you are protected, you are fed, and you are loved. Walk proudly in a humble way just as He does. Not thinking better of yourself as others, but knowing who you are with Him walking beside you/ within you. He is the mighty awesome One, forever and ever. And together with Him, whom shall we fear?

Wow! You are the mighty awesome Lion protecting us and caring for us. Thank you Lord for showing this to us! We are so excited to walk this journey with You! Amen

25. The righteousness of Christ

Last week we finished with the sea of bronze used for the washing of the priests. Today we will start to look at the ten water basins used for washing the burnt offerings. These ten water basins are so full of symbolism we will need to spend the next couple of weeks on them. Today I would like us to start at looking at the reason why these water basins were used as well as the symbolism of the number.

"He made ten lavers, and put five on the right side (of the Temple) and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as they offered for the burnt offering they would wash in them, but the Sea was for the priests to wash in." 2 Chronicles 4:6

Okay so these ten water basins/lavers were used to wash the burnt offerings in. The symbolism here for me is that whatever we bring to the Lord as a sacrifice, we can wash with the water of the Holy Spirit. God wants us cleansed of all wrong doing. That is why Jesus came to shed His blood for us, so that we can be cleansed of all sin and washed with the water of the Spirit. So that we can stand up and be free and liberated from the old lives we used to live and that we can walk as the new creations that we are. We need to put on our armor, amongst others, the breastplate of righteousness. Whose righteousness? Jesus's! He has done it all for us. He was our burnt offering. We simply need to wash ourselves clean by His Spirit and put on His breastplate of righteousness.

There are ten water basins. Ten is the number representing amongst other things, the Ten Commandments. It therefore represents righteousness before God if you follow His law. And the Temple was the perfect place to follow the Law and to be reminded of it. But as we've seen, we are now redeemed from the Law. Jesus gave His righteousness to us in exchange for our sins.

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

We are the righteousness (blamelessness) of God IN Christ, not out of our own strength, but HIM shining and living through us. Out of our own strength we will get tired and drained, but through Him anything is possible!

And what is amazing to me is that the ten water basins were split in two, five on the left of the Temple and five on the right. I suppose it was practical to have water basins both sides, but with God nothing is just 'practical'. There is always a deeper meaning in the Bible to everything He did and ordained to be. For five is the number of grace. Isn't it wonderful? While ten represents the Law, five represents grace. So God was in fact telling His people then already, that though they are performing the Law and bringing their sacrifices, there will come a day where it will be all grace!

Are you not glad that we are living in the grace period? What a wonderful privilege! Can you imagine going to the Temple and taking the animal and sacrificing it there? Can you imagine doing that on a regular basis? I for one am certainly glad that we have been freed from that! The one positive from having to bring one's sacrifice regularly forced one to think of God and of drawing closer to Him. Today, a whole number of Christians do not even think of God on a regular basis. They know that they believe and that they are saved, but that is it. They do not draw closer to Him; they do not truly appreciate the Sacrifice made. Let us not all fall into this trap. But let us all hunger for more and more of Him. Let us forever be grateful for what He has done for us. In His righteousness we can have access to the Father and we can have a real intimate relationship with Him, something this world can never provide.

Father, thank you for all the symbolism locked in Your Temple. It is truly amazing and we can learn so much from it today. Thank you for the Sacrifice of Your precious Son. We are eternally grateful and look forward to a life spent with You. Amen

24. Do not worry, just be (1)

Last week we saw that we have to be like an ox for God. We have to be strong, loyal, hardworking, groundbreakers, dedicated to Him and Him alone. God wants us to till the ground for Him and to be exemplary in our actions for Him.

The oxen as we saw were the footing on which the sea of bronze stood. But interestingly the brim of the sea was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. Now I don't know about you, but a lily is in stark contrast to an ox for me. But therein lies the beauty. A lily immediately made me think of Matthew 6:28, 29:

"So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these."

God looks after the lilies. Let us take a closer look at lilies. Have you ever seen a lily frantic and stressed out that it will not get enough water or nutrition? Have you ever seen a lily trying to be a cactus? Have you ever seen a lily seeking fame? The answer goes without saying. Lilies just are who they were created to be. And even Solomon, the richest man who ever lived, was not as beautifully clothed as they.

What should this say to us? We must follow the example of the lily. Even though God wants us to be like oxen - hardworking, strong, loyal, groundbreakers, He also wants us to know that we must do all these things, but without the stress, like a lily. We shouldn't try to be someone we are not, we shouldn't seek fame and we certainly shouldn't stress. If God has placed something on your heart, don't worry about how it all will come to pass. Simply follow His Voice, trust Him to lead you and to guide you. God has so many plans for us, He knows our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes and He will use it for His glory. We should simply be ourselves and follow Him. That is all. The rest is in His hands. He will lead and guide you; He will show the way and open the right doors. He will do it and look after you, for you are much more valuable to Him than a lily.

Therefore breathe in deeply. Breathe in the new life that He has blessed you with and breathe out all the futility of this world. Do this a couple of times and see how you are breathing in heavenly air and breathing out this world. Then go out and do what you must do, then just be and allow Him to take over.

Thank you Father that You have a specific plan for us. We rejoice in that plan and we look forward to that plan materializing. We will go out and do our best and leave the rest to You. May You be glorified every step of the way! Amen

23. Be an ox for Christ

Last year we had a look at the twelve oxen at the foot of the sea of bronze. The number twelve and the way the oxen were arranged represented the fact that all of God's children should represent the likeness of God to all the corners of the world. All of us should proclaim His Kingdom throughout the world, no matter what our occupation is.

Today we will look at the meaning of the oxen themselves. Let us start by looking at the Bible where specifically twelve oxen are used. In Numbers 7 the tabernacle was dedicated to the Lord. And in verse 3 we see that each leader of the tribes of Israel brought an ox to be used in the work of the Tabernacle.  Oxen were thus seen as a sacrifice by the leaders. In 1 Kings 19:19 Elisha was plowing with the 12th team of oxen when Elijah called him to be his follower. Thus 12 oxen seem to indicate to me, leaders dedicated to service to God, giving what they had and their lives to Him.

Oxen are also traditionally seen as strong, loyal and hardworking. Oxen were also used to break new ground.

If we look at all this information and what oxen represents we can conclude the following: Oxen are strong, loyal, hardworking, groundbreakers and represents dedicated lives in service to God.

And I believe that is exactly what God wants us to be. He wants us to be strong. He wants us to resist the urge and the temptations of this world. He wants us to choose Him no matter what the circumstances are. He wants us to be loyal to Him. He wants us to stand up for Him even though it might not be the popular thing to do. I remember how unpopular I was after I asked the school to not have a ghost house at the school fair or when I asked them to remove a prescribed book containing a 'soft spot' for witches etc. We won't be popular if we stand up for God and His ways, but God wants us to remain loyal to Him, despite opposition.

God wants His children to be hardworking and not lazy. We cannot expect God to open all the doors for us and not do anything from our side. We must always do our best and God will do the rest. We can therefore trust Him that everything will work out, but we must do our part as well. Also we cannot 'just pray' about certain situations. Many times action is also required in addition to prayer. Obviously prayer is essential, but sometimes we need to act too. For example where Moses prayed to God to intervene when the Egyptians attacked them in the wilderness. God asked him why he was praying, because this was not a time to pray, but to act. He had to lift up his staff to open up the way through the Red Sea. He had to do his part too.

God wants us to be groundbreakers. He wants us to spread His Word on dry ground. He wants us to be innovators and to till the ground for His sake.

And above all He wants our lives dedicated to Him. He wants us to realize that we are dead in Christ and that He lives through us now. It is not us living anymore, but Him through us. That is true life. He wants our dedication and commitment to Him and His Kingdom. He wants us to exalt Him in all areas of our lives.

Come and be the ox for Christ. Be the leader, walk in front, lead by example and let others follow.

Father please help us to be oxen to be proud of. It is not always easy for us, because in our fast paced world an ox is too slow. But we know and we praise You that You can use us and can develop our abilities into powerful tools in Your hands. Amen

94. New Year 2019

What a wonderful privilege to write about our New Year 2019! What an awesome honor to be alive and to be able to live another year with God's purpose in mind for our lives! I hope you are excited about this year as I know I am. And I don't have a specific reason really, but just to be available to God to be used is very exciting. He is the God of the impossible, and what He can bring about in our lives is truly something to look forward to!

I have a Numbers Dictionary book with the Biblical meanings of numbers in and God led me to look at the meaning of 2019:

Now the number 2 000 means - mature unity.

And the number 19 means - The numeric value of 'Eve' is nineteen. The name 'Eve' means life or the mother of all living. The number nineteen also has a symbolic association with worship. It is a call to worship God in Spirit and in Truth out of the deepest recesses of your heart.

Therefore if we combine the two I believe 2019 is the year that all living adheres to the call to worship God in Spirit and in Truth from the deepest nooks of their hearts and to mature in unity.

God wants His children to mature. The days are long gone that His children can stay on milk and purity. We need to move on; we need to hunger for steak, for more and more to digest of Him. We need to grow up in Him. And the more we grow up, the more He can entrust us with more. And the more He can entrust us, the more He grows on the inside of us. And the more He grows on the inside of us, the more we can walk in an abundant life with His blessings overflowing. I know that is what we all want, but are you ready to grow? Growing could be a painful process, it can hurt, but it is also a very rewarding process and the end result is an abundant life walking with Jesus with His blessings overflowing from within His Being. It cannot be another way.

And in the process we worship Him. On a totally new level we adhere to Him. We honor and glorify Him. We truly give every aspect of our lives to Him. We don't hold back anymore. We go at full speed into His arms and lay down our lives. Only then are we truly living.

God wants you to truly, truly live this year. The time for mediocre lives are over. It is done. God is looking at you with stars in His eyes. He is looking at you with true longing. He has so much planned for you. It is now in your hands!

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." Psalm 37:23

Notice the word 'steps'. In other words, there needs to be movement on your side. You cannot sit and wait for God to do things for you. You need to move. Also notice the word 'ordered', which implies obedience. You cannot move where you want to, but where He leads you. May you listen in 2019, be obedient and then move. Then we see that 'God delights in his way'. What more can we want? That is successful living.

Father thank you for a new year! Thank you for blessing us with the opportunity to be obedient to You and to follow You in all our ways. We delight in You and we look forward to all You are planning for us! We love You with all our hearts. In Jesus' Name. Amen

93. Christmas 2018 (2)

It feels like yesterday that I wrote the message for Christmas 2017! I don't know about you, but time flies. And that made me think today. What are we doing with our time? Are we busy with things that have everlasting value? Are we busy with Kingdom work even if we are in the boardroom, or at home with the kids? Do we have that mindset? Or are we simply going through the motions living from holiday to holiday, from one pleasurable moment to the next and everything in between is just bearable?

God tells us clearly why He sent Jesus:

"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6:33

Jesus is our bread. In other words He sustains us. We don't need all the things that the media tells us we need. No, we need Him and only Him. If He is all we have left we have enough, in fact we have more than enough. He walks in front and we only need to follow!!

And He came to give us life. But what does it mean? That He came to give us access into eternal life someday? Or does it actually mean we can have the fullness of life today? Let us have a look at the Greek meaning of the word 'life'.

It means Zoe in Greek. And the true meaning of the word Zoe in this context is the following according to Thayer Lexicon:

"life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever"

Wow. Life - real, genuine, active, vigorous, devoted to God, blessed. And did you notice the part where it says that this portion is even in this world, in other words in the here and now. Isn't that wonderful news? Jesus came to give this life to us, in order for us to live it NOW. He came so that we can have a blessed life that is not fake, that comes from a heart that is active, dynamic and devoted to God. That is what He came to give to us.

And notice the ongoing tense in this text verse. He gives life and continuous to give life. He never stops. It is a gift, one that is freely given to you. The question now is; are you going to take it? Are you going to take the step and physically take this gift? A gift is a gift, it is not forced on you and it is not imposed upon you. No, a gift is given freely, but it needs to be taken as well. What is your choice today?

Do you want to continue in the rushed spiral that you are? Do you want to continue living a life that is fleeting and without true meaning? Or do you want to take the next step forward and live a life of abundance? Jesus is standing with the gift in His hands. Picture Him in your minds' eye and see how He is presenting it to you. See yourself walking up to Him and taking it out of His hands with thanksgiving. See how you swallow this gift and make it a part of your essence. See how you start to glow and become radiant. See how it infiltrates your deepest being. See how it lifts you up unto new heights. See life as it truly is, a journey walked with God. See His abundant grace and glorify Him for it!

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Father, we rejoice that You sent Jesus as the bread of life, to feed us and to nurture us in all our ways. We are so grateful for the precious gift of life that He came to give us through You. We rejoice and we take this gift! Thank you very much dear Father. You are infinitely special to us. Amen

22. God is proud of you as you follow Him

Last week we learned that we need to cleanse our hands and our feet in our daily walk. Not to be saved or to obtain favor from God, but to free ourselves from this world. He came and He gave us access into His Kingdom, now it is up to us to decide whether we want to make His Kingdom our primary concern, or do we still make the world and all its intricacies our primary concern. Jesus opened up the way for us to walk in freedom from the effects of this world. We now need to take up His offer and walk in the liberty that it brings.

Today we are going to look at the sea of bronze in more detail. The sea was cast in bronze and it stood on a unique footing. It was twelve oxen:

"It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their backs pointed inward." 2 Chronicles 4:4

Okay so there were twelve oxen divided in four groups looking in each direction. Let us have a look at the significance of the numbers today.

First of all there were twelve oxen. This number is significant as it portrays the twelve tribes of Israel and also later the twelve apostles. Therefore this number refers to the governmental authority of God. The twelve tribes each had leaders and the twelve apostles were the leaders of the new covenant, and they represent all of God's children from both covenants.

Secondly there were three oxen on each side. The number three refers to a number of things. But today the following stands out for me: It refers to the perfect Trinity. It can also refer to being formed into the likeness of Christ.

And thirdly, four refers naturally to all the directions in this world. The number also represents comprehensiveness, therefore all encompassing.

So if we take all of these numbers together we come to the following conclusion. The perfect Trinity wants His children (all in the old and new covenant), to be formed into His likeness so that they can go into all directions and spread His Kingdom and Word, everywhere, all encompassing. Isn't it just awesome?

God wants to use every single believer to reach out and touch those in desperate need of Him. These oxen are not below the sea by accident. As we saw last week, God wants us to cleanse ourselves from this world and only then can we be equipped to turn a broken world to Him. We cannot be equipped if we are so part of this world. It will be difficult as this world can easily entrap us.

No matter what your occupation is or in which way the Lord leads you. ALL our goals are the same, to lead others to Christ. Whether it is in the boardroom, in the classroom, in the corporate world, in your daily walk with your kids, even in praying from the retirement village, all our goals are the same! Reaching others for Christ! Our methods may differ, but our goal is the same. And therefore not one occupation is more important than another. They are all equal in God's sight. It is what we DO with what God has given us that is important!! And therefore no one can look down on what God has placed on their hearts or even someone else's. If they follow their calling and do what God asks, there are treasures in Heaven and a party amongst the angels and God is smiling from ear to ear.

Thank you Father that You have a job for each of us to do. Thank you that You have handpicked us to walk in Your ways. We love You and we rejoice in all Your goodness. Help us to close our ears to this world and to rather follow Your Voice. You know best! Amen

21. Dust off this world

Last week we had a look at the bronze altar in the outer court of the Temple. And we realized that if we have any idols in our lives that we should sacrifice them there and follow Jesus, the Lamb slain for us with our utmost devotion.

Today I want us to have a look at the sea of cast bronze close to the altar. This sea was used to cleanse the priests. They had to wash their hands and feet every time when they entered the Temple and just their hands when they offered something on the altar. They had to be cleansed of all dust and dirt. They shouldn't carry with them anything that represents the earth into the Holy Place. In those days the priests walked barefoot, to convey that they were standing on holy ground and also to resemble that they are spiritually newborn people. But as they walked everywhere, the dust and the mud of this world clung to their feet and therefore God wanted them to wash it off. God was so strict about the washing; He said that they will die if they don't wash (Exodus 30:20, 21). This might sound very harsh, but let us think about it.

They were representing God to the people. They had to be cleansed. They had to portray a vision of the Holy God to them. Plus God didn't want anything from this world to enter into His Temple. He was (and still is) holy and nothing unholy is allowed in His presence. Thus He wanted to protect them from His holiness. And therefore they had to be cleansed.

Now for us this is symbolic of a number of things. First of all it shows us that as we enter into the Holy Place, God wants us to leave everything of this world behind. He wants us to focus on Him. He doesn't want us to think of all our worries and cares and all the worldly orders as we approach Him. He wants us focused on Him and His Kingdom. Jesus Himself said:

"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Secondly doesn't washing of feet remind you of Jesus washing His disciples' feet? He washed it for several reasons, but I would just like to focus on one. When Jesus wanted to wash Peter's feet, Peter resisted and then Jesus said to him:

"Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me." John 13:8

Peter then reacted and asked that Jesus wash everything of him. But it wasn't necessary; Jesus was only interested in the feet. Why? Because with salvation comes total cleansing of all sins. And then from there on, we only need to wash our feet from the stain of sin we walk in in this world. Allow me to quote what 'got questions' say about this:

'When we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that is permanent and complete. No act can cleanse us further from our sin, as our sin has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the "washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26), given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).'

We need to wash our hands and feet regularly in the Spirit. We need to cleanse ourselves, not to be saved or even to draw close to God, but to free us from this world and its influences. Jesus has set us free and opened the way for us, now it is our turn to let go and to bask in the freedom that He bought for us. When we let go of all the influences in this world, we will be lighter, we will feel lighter and we will experience a deeper spiritual walk with God. Let us make His Kingdom our primary concern. Let us look up and walk as the newly born spiritual people that we are. Cleansed by the blood and the Word.

Thank you so much Father that we can be free from this world. Thank you that You freed us and bought our freedom with Your Son's blood. We are eternally grateful and we want to walk in Your pathways, cleansed by You. Amen

 

20. Let go of idols

Today I would like us to start and have a look at the utensils that God ordained to be around the Temple as well as inside the Temple. We will start in the outer court, and then move to the Holy Place and then of course to the Most Holy Place.

Now the first thing of note in the outer court was the altar for burning sacrifices. The altar was made of bronze and used to sacrifice all the animals on that were brought by the people as stipulated in the Law of Moses.

The color bronze has a number of meanings in the Bible. One of them is the righteous judgment of God against sin. And this is clear to see with the bronze altar. But the other wonderful meaning of the color bronze is redemption. Therefore bronze can refer to a word of grace and redemption from the Lord. Isn't it wonderful to see? At the altar God judges sin, but also at the altar there is salvation and deliverance. Why? Because Jesus was sacrificed for us as the Lamb on the altar. And therefore it is liberating for us to come to the altar often.

At the altar we can stand with confidence, knowing that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us. He is the one leading us unto new heights. Because of Him we can come close to the 'Temple' without feeling condemned. We can come close and stand in His presence without being reminded of our sins. We can stand there KNOWING that all is forgiven. He took our place, we don't need to sacrifice anymore, we simply need to come to Him and draw closer to Him in the Most Holy Place as we've seen last week.

Now even though we don't need to sacrifice anything anymore, I would like us to just dig a little deeper. There is symbolically so much for us to learn. So as I contemplated the altar, the Lord placed on my heart that even though we don't need to actively sacrifice our sin offerings anymore, He wants us to come and sacrifice our idols to Him. At first I was surprised as I don't see Christians as having idols anymore. But God revealed to me that we do, we might not perceive it as such.

For some it might be exercising. Even though exercising is very good for you, once you are consumed by it, when it takes most of your free time and you cannot live without it, you might need to take a second look at it. For others their work might become their idol, and for others their children might even be their idols. Thriving on and receiving your self-worth from recognition might be an idol, your friends might even be an idol for you. And yes, even work performed for the Lord might become an idol to you, like the Pharisees. I have always looked with contempt at the Pharisees as I read what they have done and how they became so proud in their positions, until God showed me that some things that I was doing for Him was not far from what they were doing. And He was right. I had to let so many things go. But it truly set me free.

Ask God this week to show you what your idol might be. He will gladly show you. And then go to the altar and sacrifice it there. Let it be burned to ashes and leave it there. It is liberating and will truly free you. Idols keep you earthbound, but God wants you soaring high above like the eagles. He wants you to be close to Him and to live within reach of His heartbeat for you. But the idols can drag you down. Rather let it go and fly high above it all, liberated and free.

Father we do have idols in our lives and we didn't even realize it. Thank you so much that You reminded us of this fact again. We are so sorry and today we sacrifice it to You, once and for all. We know this sacrifice doesn't save us, but it sets us free to be able to live the life that You destined for us. We look forward to living within Your best for us! Hallelujah! In Jesus' Name. Amen