Sunday, April 6, 2008

Influenced by His Glory! (church bulletin cover)

It’s been said that Gateway’s South congregation is now moving from being “tent-dwellers” to having a building. But as I consider their move into a building in Fort Rouge, I recall what happened at the completion of the tabernacle in Exodus 40. I’ve always been amazed at the description of God’s glory filling the Tent of Meeting as the tabernacle was completed. What a sight that must have been —this cloud coming and covering the tent and filling the entire tabernacle, and then becoming a fire at night! And it says that Moses, the man with whom God spoke from the cloud at the entrance of his tent — the man whose face would shine from being so near to the LORD — couldn’t even enter the tent of meeting because it was so full of God’s glory! Exodus 40:38 says that “throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”

That verse shifts my amazement to confusion. With this awesome display of glory ever before the Israelites, how could they have ever shrunk back from the things God told them to do, such as when He urged them to go in and take the land? And as that question occurs to me, I realize that I’m caught. Caught in the same confusing acts of unbelief before God’s awesome glory as the Israelites were so prone to. After all, I’ve seen God’s glory revealed in the love and mercy of His Son on the cross. I’ve experienced the goodness of the Gospel at work in my life as Christ has come and made His tabernacle in my heart! And corporately speaking, we’ve seen God extravagantly provide for us to purchase the building on Rathgar, thereby providing a new home for Gateway South. And yet as human beings, we are so prone to unbelief, often doubting that God will be enough for us as He calls us to obedience, such as the taking of new land in which His glory is to be made known.

What are we to do? As I read Exodus 40 again, I want us as a community of faith to be so influenced by God’s display of His glory through His work in our lives and in our midst, that we would be filled with an unshakeable awe and confidence in the God who chose us to be His children! And with that, let us go into the land that God has placed before us so that His glory will be seen by all around us!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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