Bringing God’s Presence to Our Lives and Our World
“The Ark of the Covenant” — We know it as the theme of a movie; we know it as something the Israelite’s carried around on poles in the desert. But what was it really? What’s inside the Ark? And does it really have relevance today?
From the stories of the Ark in the Bible, I could see it was quite powerful. It was used to divide the Jordan River so the Israelites could pass through to the Promised Land. It was used to destroy the walls of Jericho so the Israelites could conquer the Land. When Israel’s enemies stole it from the temple, they soon gave it back because of the destruction it brought them. Numbers 7:89, Leviticus 16:2, Exodus 25:22 and other scriptures tell us the Ark represented God’s presence and a place from which He speaks to His people. No wonder it had such power!
Nowadays, we don’t carry an Ark to bring God’s presence with us. WE are His temple, WE are His presence in the world. So I thought maybe I should look into the Ark to see what God considers representative of His presence. Hebrews 9:4 tells us there were three things inside the Ark:
- The tablets of the 10 commandments – a summary of God’s instructions for abundant life (Exodus 24)
- A jar of manna – God’s food provision to His people during their 40 years in the desert (Exodus 16)
- Aaron’s staff – the rod God used to show Aaron as His chosen leader for the Israelites (Numbers 17)
I wondered, why these three? What’s the significance of these things? How are they even remotely connected? Then I realized, these are pretty significant demonstrations of who God is: 1) His instructions to us, 2) His provision for us, 3) His leadership over us. Evidently these are required for His presence to be in us.
Coincidentally (or maybe not) these are also three things that are usually the toughest to trust God with. Most of the time, I’d really rather do things my own way, determine how much provision I need and how I’m going to get it, and decide which leaders I’m going to follow. But believing in and relying on God for His instructions, His source of provision and the leadership He appoints over me are really what being a believer is all about. They’re indications that I’m a follower of God. Because these are not my natural tendencies, I have to choose every day to “opt-in” to His instruction, provision and leadership, resisting the temptation to do things my own way, depend on other things to provide my security, and change leaders when I want.
These days, this is how God’s presence is manifest on earth — through people who submit to Him in these three areas. When I do this, His presence is as powerful as it was at the Jordan River and in Jericho. But in order to see that kind of power in my life and around me, I have to make the choice to align my life in such a way that keeps these three in check. Not an easy task, but opting in to God’s plan one day at a time, I can increase the very presence of God on earth – certainly a task worth striving for!
Share, Print or Email this:
This entry was posted on December 18, 2011 by Administrator. It was filed under Ark, Authority, Following God, God's Presence, God's Provision, God's Will, Guidance, Obedience, Submission, Tabernacle and was tagged with 10 commandments, aaron's rod, Ark of Testimony, Ark of the Covenant, Especially holy place, Holy of Holies, inside the ark of the covenant, manna, temple.