David’s flimsy tent

We are in the day's of David's maturity. Nathan has promised, prophetically, that Solomon would build the temple. David has stored up some materiel for it, but it's not done yet. That's where we are today.

There are three places of worship:

1) There is the tabernacle, outside the city. The tabernacle is where the worship services happen for all Israel, all of God's people. The established, trained, anointed leadership is there, doing the things that God has commanded them to do. The place is rich and full of tradition; it's full of gold and purple and busy with worshippers and bloody with sacrifices. The only problem is that the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence, is not there.

2) Inside the palace grounds somewhere, hidden away in a back room or a private courtyard somewhere, is a small tent. It's neatly set up, but there are no priests, no crowds of worshippers. But the Ark is there. David and his household -- or at least those who desire to be in God's presence -- worship there, drawn by the passion they see in their king.

It's hard to believe that such an insignificant little tent can hold so much of God!

3) There is the temple. David wrote Psalm 27; it says so in the Bible. He wrote this line in verse 4 "One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple." [emphasis added]

David dwelt in the temple of the Lord, inquiring of God, beholding His beauty. Only one minor problem: there was no temple. David's son, Solomon, would build it years later, after David died.

But David worshipped there by faith, and it was the high point of his spiritual life.

That's a picture of us today.

1) There is a structure that has all the well-trained religious leaders, and all the ceremony and trappings and beautiful buildings. All of God's people come there to worship. It's rich and full and busy.

The only problem is that God's presence is not there.

God still loves those folks; They are obeying His commands, and they're praying to Him, and He's answering their prayers. They're doing mighty works in His name and according to His will. His hand moves among them.

But His presence is not to be found.

2) There is another structure that has none of those blessings. Sometimes they meet in small out-of-the way storefronts; sometimes in space rented from the well-trained religious leaders. Sometimes they meet in homes.

But God's presence is there.

3) There is a place of solitude, a different one for you than for me, where God's promise is alive and rich and real. I can go there. I CAN GO THERE! God waits for me there. It's not "real" there. The marble and the cedar and the silver and gold aren't there. Not yet.

But God is there. I can behold His beauty there. I can inquire of Him there. I can dwell there. And finally, here's the application, or at least my application:

I have decided to spend my life, to squander my life, looking for tents and trying to find the unseen temples. I want to draw as many people with me, from my circle of influence, into those places.

I want to watch as their jaws drop open and their eyes bulge and their knees shake. I want to help them to see the unseen, to learn about that place of intimacy -- one on one, just like lovers -- where they're alone with the creator of the universe staring into each others' lives.

I want to blow their minds with reality!

Blessings! Lots and lots of blessings as you crowd in next to me and a few thousand of our brothers and sisters into that little tent in David's spare bedroom.

David McLain, from Firefall Zine

May 08, 2006