Wednesday, February 3

the "tent of meeting"

I enjoyed a precious QT (quiet time) with the Lord this morning. There were a few things that He impressed on my heart about scripture that I read (have read before) and it just totally "spoke into" my life today. The scripture was from Exodus 33 - where Moses sets up a "tent of meeting" outside of the Israelites camp. The tent is a place where they go to to meet the Lord. It was outside of the camp. It says in the Word that as Moses would go from his tent - outside the camp to the "tent of meeting" all of the people would stand at the entrance of their own tents and watch until Moses disappeared into the tent of meeting to be with God.

First of all - Moses has always been someone special to me. Moses was so "ordinary" and God used him to do extraordinary things! I love this because I feel so ordinary most of the time, and love that God still uses me!

When Moses went into the tent of meeting - it says that the Cloud descended while Moses and God talked. I was just thinking about this for a while this morning. God descended to be with Moses - human, ordinary MOSES!! In the same way this morning, I talked with the Lord, and thanked him for being right there with me - around my dining room table. I could strongly feel his presence, and as I read this portion, and imagined it - his presence felt even stronger to me.

In Exodus 33 vs. 11 it sames that when Moses spend time with God - "the Lord spoke FACE TO FACE with him, as one does with a friend!" Okay - does this strike you the same way. THE LORD SPOKE TO MOSES AS ONE DOES WITH A FRIEND! And, He did so FACE TO FACE. WOW....

I love spending time with my friends - to look into their eyes as we talk - as we share what has been happening. It is only by looking into their faces, that we can really see the emotion behind the words. It is by looking into their eyes that we can see the joy, or the pain, or the sorrow. Friends can do that when you are face to face. And Moses - well God spoke with him this way.
Woo... amazing.

I was then directed to scripture in Jeremiah 9: 23-24 which says, "those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth and that I delight in these things. I the Lord have spoken!"

Jeremiah says - it is okay to boast, or to talk about SOME things - like for instance our relationship with Almighty! That it is okay to boast about what HE is doing - about his unfailing love! And that HE has spoken. In this case - it is okay for us to boast!

I was talking with Leah the other day as we were going to church at A.C.C. I was mentioning to her that sometimes I am not sure how to share my testimony without sharing that I do hear God speak - and that God DOES speak through different ways to me - and he does impress things on my heart - etc. At one time, actually the first time that I ever heard God speak audibly (back in the early 90's) I wasn't sure if I should tell anyone - as I didn't want to look like I was flaunting it, because I wasn't. I was just totally blown away by the fact that his audible voice totally blew me out of the water. I will never, ever forget the morning God spoke loud and clear to me.

I realize that God knows each one of us - and that He also knows the best way to get our attention. And personally, I thank God that He gets my attention by speaking to me. I believe strongly that He speaks to each one of us. Sometimes I think we may not hear because our lives are too full - there are too many distractions. Other times I think one may not hear because we don't want to, or maybe we don't move "apart" from the busy-ness of life to just wait on God and listen for his voice. I also think he uses sometimes unconventional methods to get our attention. God knows what each one of us needs - and He WILL get our attention sooner or later. This morning, this scripture made me feel like - it is quite okay for me to share how God works in my life.... that it is okay because that is part of my story. And God says - I can boast in his faithfulness.

I love watching and listening to Beth Moore. One person once said to me that there is so much "ra-ra" (aka hype) when she speaks. I however disagree with this person (who did not see her firsthand on dvd or in person, just went according to what someone told her). When I went to see and hear Beth Moore speak in Fargo in August - I realized that she is totally on fire for the Lord - and what you see is really WHO she is, and how her relationship with the Lord just overflows in her life! I love that she lives for the Lord - 24/7. (I struggle when someone preaches one thing, but lives the rest of their week contrary to what they told you to do!) Don't get me wrong - I KNOW first hand that living for the Lord isn't always easy. God never said it would be.

Back to Moses - I just imagined what it would be like - talking face to face and "seeing GOD" on a daily basis. Sometimes I have plead with God - "just turn your face towards us"...
I love that God treats him as his friend. I think of my best friends - and imagine that God is even more of a greater friend than my best-est friend would be! And, I believe that seeing God daily - spending time with him daily - being face to face with the greatest friend of all - that it would bubble out of me the rest of the day!

These thoughts totally excite me! And - I see why Beth is also so excited for the Lord.

What would my "tent of meeting" look like if I sketched it. The place that I daily "set apart" for my encounter with the Almighty is not very elaborate. My tent of meeting is at my dining room table. It gives me place to spread out my Bible, and my journal. It is a place where I have enough room to have a candle burning. I love candles - it is just a "symbol" for me... of the light of the world! It is a place where I can put my big mug of coffee down - and just spend time, whether it is half hour - or two and a half hours. It is easy for me to read, study, write and pray as I sit there. I just realized that sometimes people have a "special chair" to curl up in with their Bible, and I have a chair too - but I still prefer the dining room table. That way I don't have to juggle all the stuff on my knee.

I just realized that meeting at the dining room table makes sense in another way. I LOVE gathering my kids around the table - that is where we meet, and eat together and talk - and laugh. It makes sense to me this is a favorite spot also to meet, talk, laugh with, cry, and share coffee time with my Lord. This is my tent of meeting.

The thing that I also strongly believe - and I base this on my experience... that when we spend time wiht the Lord - the more we spend time with Him - the more I hear him speak to me. The more I hear him speak - the more I want to hear him speak, and the more time I want to speand with Him. I know - I am going around in a circle trying to explain this right?

The one thing I know is that I want to encourage you - whomever is reading this blog - to make time daily to spend in QUIET TIME with the Lord. At first it may seem like hard work because it may not be easy to just spend time with God. Or you may not feel like you know what to do when you sit down to spend the time. But please - just spend the time. You and God.... in a nice quiet spot. Your bible, your pen and paper and just talk with Him... like you would with your best friend. I hope you will do this, and that you will experience the sweet sweet time together.

So Lord, thank you for loving to spend time with me - as your friend. I love that I can feel your presence with me. I love that you say - if I am to boast - I should boast in your unfailing love! Thank you for speaking to me - as if to a friend. Thank you - that you are the friend to sinners - and that most of all - you have covered me with your love, your mercy and your grace. And - I sit here in your presence - absolutely forgiven! I pray dear Lord - that many others will begin to spend time sitting with you - meeting with you in their "tent of meeting" and that it will be something they do on a daily basis - meet with you - face to face - like one friend to another. O Lord - thank you.

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