Living Reflections

Some Things Take Time

“Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Tabernacle and everything in it, making them holy.” Lev 8:10

 
I sat there in church with my mind wandering to my ever growing list of errands to do that day.  I knew I should have been listening to my pastor, but somewhere between the opening comments and the meat of the message, my brain meandered over to the meat counter at the local supermarket and began compiling the list of brats, hamburger, steaks, and a dozen other items I needed to pick up for the week. 
It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested in the sermon… I mean, I was there, right?  Surely I would not make the effort to be there if I wasn’t interested?  Would I?
And then I realize how often I take for granted the “ease” of coming before my God.  Too often I take for granted the ability given to me – through the blood of Jesus Christ – to be in relationship with the One who created everything!  To share with him my thoughts and my fears, to be “real” with Him – in a way that I’m not with anyone else, and yet, how easily I am distracted by the things of this world.
Reading through Leviticus, I am reminded about the great lengths and practices Moses and the Israelites had to perform to be near the presence of God.  Moses had to anoint everything in the Tabernacle, and then perform entire rituals for Aaron and his sons – while everyone watched!   Can you imagine how long all of that must have taken?  I use the excuse that these things had never been done before, so certainly it was easier for that congregation to stay focused – I mean, they must have been in awe over EVERYTHING!
So what happened to me?  Where did I lose my sense of awe and wonder and amazement at being able to approach the King’s throne – whenever I wanted?  When did going to church change from an invitation to worship with fellow believers to an obligation?  How do I so quickly take for granted the gift of God’s communion?
Could it be, whether I wish to admit it or not, that the world – with its external demands and eye-catching lures – somehow persuaded me to buy the lie that Jesus’ sacrifice was not a big deal?  I mean, with everything at our fingertips and access to virtual reality, doesn’t it make it easier to think, “Yeah, of course I can go to God – He’s right there.”  I’m not sure if that’s how it happened or not, but I am sure that is what the devil would have me think. 
That kind of pride prevents me from coming anywhere close to God.  And apart from God is exactly where the adversary wants me to be – blinded by pride – left weak and vulnerable.
When I was a “baby Christian” (new believer), I spent most of my time reading through the New Testament.  It made the most sense to me, and was easier to understand.  But it wasn’t until I started walking through the Old Testament that I really began to comprehend the magnitude of God’s love. 

 

When you study the rituals and practices of the Israelites, and all they had to do, just to be near God’s presence, it’s no wonder it took time!  This was, and is, the Most High God – the King of Kings!  And they were lowly humans wanting to catch a glimpse of His glory, and yet they were so unworthy.
Just like us.
How truly blessed we are to have Jesus.  An innocent lamb – slaughtered for us – for our “right” to go before the King without shame or guilt or ritual. 
To approach the Father with nothing more than a repentant heart and belief in His son.
When I think of it that way, I am deeply embarrassed.  I am embarrassed by my pride, and reminded that my attitude instead should be one of gratitude.  Spending time with God reveals these things to me (of course it’s going to take time!), and I am so thankful that He wants to anoint every part of me – just as Moses anointed the tabernacle and everything in it!  I am humbled to think God would go to such great lengths to be in closeness with me.  How could I be anything else?

 

God,

I am humbled that I can come before You – that the sacrifice of Your son, Jesus, grants me the privilege to do so.   Thank You for loving me enough to make a way for us to be together.  Help me to never take that for granted.  Continue to cleanse and anoint me.  Help me to live my life in such a way that only glorifies You.  Thank You for hearing my prayer.  Thank You.  Thank You. Thank You.
I ask all of this in Your name,
Amen

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