ENTERING GOD'S PRESENCE
“O God, You are my God; early will I seek you; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will glorify You.”
Psalm 63:1-3 NKJV
Throughout the Old Testament we are given a powerful illustration, through God’s provision of the Tabernacle and Temple, of God’s desire for believers today to move into the Holy of Holies. The psalmist David knew, as we must learn, that the initial move toward true intimacy with God was moving from the “flesh” to the “soul.”
• The flesh is likened to the sacrifice for sins in the outer court of the Old Testament tabernacle, which every studious Hebrew knew.
• Inside the sacred tent, curtained away from the outer court, was the inner court, or the Holy Place, symbolizing the place of the soul or inner desire. The Holy Place was twenty cubits long, and ten wide. It contained the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick and the altar of incense — each with specific significance.
• Inside the Holy Place, ten cubits square, was the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred chest which was a symbol of God’s divine presence. A veil of very costly material divided the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. No one except the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and he was only permitted to enter once a year on the Day of Atonement.
Everything changed for believers at Calvary: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split” (Matthew 27:50-51 NIV). Christ’s death signaled the opening of a new and living way to God. Before, the veil kept people from coming into the most holy place where the Shekinah (the presence of God) was.
The price of His presence was paid in full, yet so few believers are willing to do what is required to enter in to the Holy of Holies. It begins with thirst and hunger for an intimate walk with Him: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).
True intimacy with Christ depends upon a desire for closeness with Him, no matter the cost, and it is accessible to every Christian who is willing