The Common and The Holy

About 2 years ago, I was cleaning the floor of our apartment in Munich Germany, where we lived at the time. I had been mopping other parts of the floor area when I came to the Tabernacle area. As I began, I stopped. The Lord said to me, “Do not make common what is holy. Go, change the water & use fresh water in this space.”

Over the years we have been asked, “What’s the big deal about setting apart a physical space for the Lord? How can that be different from anywhere else? Anyway, isn’t our body now the ‘temple of God?” This is a question we confronted on our journey of discovering Tabernacle. White Australia does not have a concept nor experience of a sacred space set apart for one particular purpose, other than perhaps the football ground! So part of God taking us to Europe was to deposit this in us & give us an experience of this. Interestingly, first nations (indigenous) peoples all have a concept & experience of sacred spaces.

Ultimately, this is a holiness issue, a holiness question. The very word, holy, means set apart, consecrated. To ‘set apart’ & then consecrate to the Lord a room, chair, time, space of some sort, is to make it holy. Our God is a holy God & when He chooses a space of time or place, & fills it with His presence, He makes it holy.

There were two Tabernacles in the Old Testament before the Temple came. The Tabernacle of Moses teaches us about this very issue of holiness. The second Tabernacle (of David) was about worship & prayer. If we do not understand the holiness of God & know a fear of the Lord, we will worship & pray in a way that will be common, ordinary. Likewise if we do not understand that a holy God has chosen our bodies as His place of dwelling, His temple, & set it apart, consecrating it to Him, we will make it common. We can defile what God sees as holy by treating it as ordinary, normal; like mopping a floor with dirty water. Commonness is the greatest enemy of what is holy, special, sacred.

“Be careful not to treat the holy things as though they were common.” Numbers 18:32