For just a few fleeing moments, too few they were, I sat immersed in a dimension of the presence of the Lord my soul longed for, but never tasted of in this way.
Amidst 80 or so others, I sat high on a Scottish Loch affectionately known as Loch Insh. I was in the highlands of Scotland. And here since the 6th century, worship to God had been uttered from mouths of a northern gentile people.
What God had revealed of himself in a little Irish town called Bangor in the 5th century, was now washing upon the shores of Scotland & soon Western barbaric Europe.
Infact the presence of God that was so longed for, yearned for & sought for with every part of the mind, soul & body, was rewarded; & for 400years a well was opened where ‘springs of living water flowed’ in unprecedented levels. It was from this ancient well, that I sat, arrested by the presence of God.
The atmosphere was so clear in this set apart place. The space between heaven & earth was wonderfully thin & so easily connected with. It was almost immediate. I did not struggle to breath as I had in other encounters with the presence of God, but instead quite the opposite! With such ease & lightness, I sucked in great ‘chunks’ of his presence…only sensing with my mind in that moment a very small portion of all I was experiencing.
In fact like a slow release time bomb, I have since become increasingly aware of so much more that was part of those fleeting moments that day at Loch Insh. I can only describe that what was imparted to my body, mind & spirit, has over these days since awoken within me emerging with such wonder.
I tasted that day, the gorgeous, life impacting inheritance left by a people who wanted for nothing else but the presence of God, & were rewarded. It was such a concentrated zone, but where concentrated often means intense & strong, this was clear, filling, light & wonderfully sweet.
What an inheritance to leave the generations that would follow after them!
The Bible describes the presence of God in two ways. There is the general, ever present, filling the earth presence of God. Romans 1:20 testifies that God’s presence “has been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
But God also chose to place his presence in a specific way & location. In the Old Testament it was the Tabernacle & Temple he chose as his dwelling place. In the New Testament he chose the human body of a believer. In both cases, He chose a specific place to dwell.
In Matthew 6:10 Jesus shows his disciples how to pray. He exorts them to pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What is in heaven? God, his kingdom, his will; says this verse. What makes up his kingdom? Hebrews 8: 2 declares, “There He (Jesus) ministers in the holy place, the true Tabernacle of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.”
Part of what makes up God’s Kingdom is a “Tabernacle of worship”, a holy place built by the Lord where he dwells in praises of his people.
So when we pray as instructed by Jesus, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we are praying also for a place on earth where the King of Glory may dwell.
Tabernacles, like his presence, are expressed in two ways, within us & within a geographical location. To reject this idea is perhaps agreeing with Replacement Theology, which suggests we replace everything concerning Israel with ourselves, including rejecting the Old Testament. Jesus did not come to do away with the Law but fulfill it. There is a difference between doing away with something & fulfilling it!
As I experienced the beauty of his holiness that day at Loch Insh, I continued my journey in knowing God & learning what it means for me & my body to become such a place where His beauty might rest & dwell.
The principles & lessons learnt in administering geographical spaces for over some 5 years now in many different countries of the world, have helped me appreciate & grow an understanding of what it means for the King of Glory to consider dwelling within me.
I have needed both ways of Tabernacle, so may I suggest is a growing world of seekers & lovers of Jesus! Perhaps then, we shall also, as many saints who have gone before us, leave a beautiful inheritance for our children & children’s children!