Tabernacle is not meant to be mystical or just for the super-spiritual. The word itself in its original context is quite ordinary. It means house, tent or dwelling place. But when you set apart a house, tent or dwelling place for God and invite His presence to come and to dwell, then there is nothing ordinary about Tabernacle at all.
Tabernacle is a set apart place. Holy, Consecrated. Whether this is a chair in a room that you only use when you want to meet with God, or whether it is an entire room or level on a building, the core ingredients remain the same.
Our journey with God has meant many international travels. Since receiving a revelation of a set apart space (Tabernacle) and it’s importance, we have endeavoured to make a very real and tangible place for God in our lives with whatever space He has given us. In some of our travels this has been nothing more than simply a chair in a corner! We wanted to honour our God with a place of His own. 2 Sam 24:24 “…for I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
We believe the core ingredients of Tabernacle to be:
1. The place/space is set apart and not used for any other purpose. It is also chosen by God. He will let you know where and how you are to set this space up. This implies that the space is not just where it is convenient, easy for you or what you THINK, but that God chooses the space and that He is the priority. Listening to Him is absolutely essential. So there are no concrete rules to follow, just listen for His still small voice to guide your heart to what He wants and what will honour Him. Look for flow and peace, what seems right. Let it grow don’t try to get it perfect in the first week.
2. Worship is maintained there at all times, or as He directs. In one of the spaces we lived in Germany, we had only one bedroom. Here we felt to set the whole space aside as a Tabernacle. With our little CD player, running on rechargeable batteries which needed to be changed every 6hrs or so, we filled the atmosphere with worship to our Lord. Yes even overnight when the CD player would beep loudly 6 times then go off, requiring one of us to get up, change the batteries and put the flat ones into a charger! There was something to this. To maintain worship in that space, cost us something.
With ‘repeat all’ function, it is easily set up. But it is important not to just leave this though. What worship music does God want playing? Is it a time for war or a time for adoration? Is it soaking rest or praiseful energy? Even if we go away for two or more weeks we keep the worship playing, maintaining the space for His presence, because He is important and worthy of this.
3. It never looks the same.
I want to share with you some of our personal journey in how Tabernacle has looked. They are not to give examples to follow but to show that for us the space has never been the same twice and has even grown and changed in the same space as time has passed.
On one short season in Australia we were in our own home and therefore had a bit more space. Here we wanted to set a room aside. The one we chose was the biggest and closet to our living area. But as we prayed and walked through the house we discerned that God actually wanted a smaller room at the front of our house looking out onto the front of our property (interestingly facing east as the Tabernacle in the Old Testament did). We went with what we believed and it turned into a very special room for us.
One day I had been outside working in the garden and I thought I had heard God ask me to come into His Tabernacle. So in I walked all dirty. As soon as I entered the room I felt a force tugging me downward. It was the Holy Spirit. I spent the next period of time on my face worshipping and being ministered to by God. Oh how I love God and Oh how I love being in Tabernacle spaces. Just there for God, not for me and my agenda, but All4Him.
4. It isn’t about being perfect.
God loves a heart that seeks after Him and He loves it when we do as He asks us to! If you do feel God is asking you to set a space apart for Him, then don’t come under law and think that you or it has to be perfect. The markers of Tabernacle and God’s presence are actually freedom and peace. Check out the Freedom-Scriptures PDF below.
2Cor 3:17 The fruit of the presence of God is the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness and self control. Add to these attributes such as grace and you soon start to see why a space to hang out with this God is a very special and desirable place!
5. Time and timing are exclusively God’s!
You must surrender everything about this to Him, especially timing. If He is good and all knowing, all seeing, which He is; then His ideas and timing are going to be better than yours. Never let what others think or expect, rule your agenda. Don’t do this to please or impress another person, just surrender to what you believe you are hearing from God. You can visit the Scripture -Tabernacle PDF below for a small sample of some Bible verses that talk about Tabernacle.
6. It may become more about you and His presence Tabernacling in you than you are comfortable with.
God is Holy. You are asking the one true God, the King of the Universe, the God of Israel to come and dwell. Not only that, you are wanting to also enter this space and to Tabernacle with God. Sin, unholiness, selfishness and pride all of these fleshly things separate us from God. God will honour and delight in your desire for closeness, the only question is; ‘Are you willing to pay the price to come close?’ God will help us surrender to Him and deal with ‘all that hinders us’, but the fire of His presence is hot! We must remain humble and open to His promptings and words.
While God is Holy, He is also love. “For God so loved the world..” (John 3:16) When you enter the Tabernacle, you are entering into love itself, not only holiness. 1 John 4 declares, “ God is love…. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear.”(4:16, 18) There is no reason to fear God, His presence or His loving gentle working within you. His love will overwhelm you and astound you.
The very best advice that I can give to you is whatever it is that God is asking you to give up, confess or surrender, just do it as quickly as you can. Trust He is good and able to carry you through any situation. He is love! His desire is for you to experience more and more of His love, of Him. He has unlimited resources and isn’t troubled by timing or how things look. The sooner we realise this and surrender our lives to Him, the sooner the process of cleansing can begin leaving us to enjoy more and more intimacy with Him, and wonderfully less and less of us.
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