When I had my time with God, I felt like I didn’t really have a system in place to get the most out of my fellowship with Him. I trusted that God heard all of my words, but I knew that God is a God of order, since He created the hierarchy of the heavens and the systems of existence. Therefore, I decided that I needed some kind of arrangement to my prayer time so I could make the most of every second I spent with God.
I’ve heard many of my spiritual mentors talk about using the Tabernacle Prayer in their quiet time. After a season of practicing this prayer, I’ve created my own feel and flavor, and my time with the Lord has transformed. My quiet time that was once very self-centered and somewhat unfocused has become a mighty stream of influential spiritual force! Finally, I feel like I am presenting my prayers to God within the Holy of Holies, instead of shouting them outside at the Brazen Alters.
The essence of the Tabernacle Prayer is that God gave Moses intricate requirements to come before the Lord in the Old Testaments (Exodus 26). Of course, we live in the New Testament where Jesus’ blood has purified us and reconciled us back to God. However, our bodies are called the New Testament Temples because the Holy Spirit now dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6.19-20). And we can take the eternal system that God implemented in the Old Testament and apply it to our lives today.
The Gate: This is symbolic of human effort or work. As Christians, we know that we could never be good enough to stand before a perfect God without the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross. We can do nothing meaningful or eternal without the authority and anointing of God. We must humble ourselves and leave our selfishness, pride and entitlement behind before we move any further. We are all equal sinners, and our only hope to have a relationship with God is through the sacrifice of Jesus.
The Brazen Alter: This is symbolic of Jesus’ sacrifice. We have gotten so used to religious terms that we have lost our respect and awe of what Jesus did for us. We would be eternally separated from our Creator because of the ungodly choices we make daily without the blood of our Perfect Intercessor. We can visualize Jesus on the cross and watch Him as He swallows up all of our sin and imperfections and gives us His righteousness and perfection instead. Then we can watch as the cross transforms all of our weakness, disease, poverty, lack, fear, disbelief, insecurity, lust, etc. into strength, healing, prosperity, abundance, faith, belief, security, love, etc.
The Laver: This is symbolic of washing. The priests had to wash themselves before they could enter the Holy Place. The Laver was shiny and filled with clean water, so the priest could see their reflections and wash away their filth. If we daily ask God to reveal our sins, we can easily repent and ask for forgiveness before those sins begin to grow roots and wreak havoc in our lives. Every area of darkness that is washed away then can be filled with a fuller presence of the Holy Spirit. When we are aware of our sins, we can learn to step outside of them and walk in the Spirit.
The Lampstand: This is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. This is extremely important. Christians know that God is the Creator and Jesus is our Savior, but many times we forget that the Holy Spirit is our counselor, comforter and guide. We need to acknowledge the Holy Spirit daily and ask Him to lead us. We will not fulfill the good plans that God has for us without the direction of the Holy Spirit. Once we begin to recognize Him and rely on Him, we will begin to walk in obedience with the power, strength and victory that God wills for us.
The Showbread: This is symbolic of God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is the nourishment of our lives. The Bible feeds us spiritually and strengthens every area of our existence on earth: physical, mental, emotional and relational. We can also supplement the Bible with godly books, DVDs, CDs, sermons, songs, etc. – all of which are delectable entrées portioned and created from the Bread of Life. The Holy Spirit unleashes the living aspect of the Bible, and hand feeds our spirits insights and truths that apply to us personally. As we feed our spirits, the eternal aspect of our existence becomes clearer, stronger and sweeter.
Alter of Incense: This is symbolic of our praise to God. God enjoys our praises, but even more importantly, He knows that our joy is complete when we praise Him. We were created to worship, and there is nothing more fulfilling then praising and worshipping our perfect and holy God. When we begin to thank God for how He has blessed us, our ungratefulness and dissatisfactions fade away. Without God, life would not exist; and even though this life has suffering and pain, we know that we will live for eternity in heaven in the glorious presence of God.
Holy of Holies: This is symbolic of being in the presence of God. Finally, we are in an attitude of love, respect and righteous fear. Our words sound crisp and powerful, our hearts are aligned with the Holy Spirit, and we are ready to wield our free will to pour our faith energy into the spiritual realm, so we can see a difference on this earth. Our time spent at the foot of Jesus is powerful, and our words can change our reality! We kneel in full belief and firm faith that God hears us as we pray for our world, nation, friends, family and God-given promises and desires.
The Ark of the Covenant: This is symbolic of God’s provision, His anointing and His direction. The Ark held three items: Manna (provision), Aaron’s staff (anointing) and 10 Commandments (direction). Once we have depleted our words to God, it is time for us to listen. God will speak to us, but we must train our ears to hear His supernatural voice. This may take patience and practice, but we can trust that God wants to speak words of provision, anointing and direction over us that are specifically tailored to our needs, design and purpose. Don’t leave the Ark of the Covenant until you feel that God has prepared you with the resources you will need for that day.