“It’s not a building you want to fill, it’s my heart.
This empty space is what you wanted all along.”Come Again- Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music
A few times a year, my church sets up a tent on the property and we have a time of prayer and worship as a church body. And man, there is just something about that tent. The Father meets us there and I have had such powerful encounters with Him in that tent over the past few years.
My family and I have spent the better part of October sick and in quarantine, and it just so happened to overlap with the week that the tent was set up at church. During that time I started to have these thoughts creep in that I was missing out on something. To be fair, I had already been stuck at home for more than two weeks at this point so there was definitely some cabin fever going on, but it was more than just that I was missing out on life outside my house, or being with my family and friends. I started to believe the lie that somehow God would forget about me while I was at home…that He was only going to be in that tent and because I wasn’t there, I would miss Him.
Then one night, I heard Him start speaking so clearly and addressing those things deep down in my heart that I hadn’t even brought to Him yet. He started speaking to me about my heart posture. He told be that even though the tent is special to Him, what is more important to Him is my heart. He even brought some correction and asked me some hard questions that really made me stop and evaluate where I have placed Him in my life. He told me that I could do the same things at home that I could do at the tent because the act of going to the tent wasn’t going to grow my relationship with Him. It’s not about doing with Him, it’s about being. I could sacrifice time and comfort at home for the sake of seeking His face and knowing Him more. I could wake up early or stay up late to worship Him. I don’t need to go to the tent for that to happen. Don’t get me wrong, having a time set apart to pray, worship, and seek the Father as a body is incredible, but in that moment I didn’t have the right heart posture. I was trying to work for His attention, when He so freely gives it.
What He showed me is that it’s not about just 5 days of 24/7 prayer and worship in the tent (although that’s wonderful), but it’s about my whole life. It’s every moment of every day. I can be at home and encounter Him powerfully. I can be at the tent, distracted, and miss what He wants to do. Location doesn’t matter to Him, heart posture does. And there is no striving in that either because I need His grace to keep my eyes fixed on Him and my heart turned towards Him. I need Him for everything.
In the Old Testament (old covenant), the tabernacle was known as the Tent of the Congregation and it was the dwelling place of God. But today, we are His dwelling place. Stop and really think about that for a minute. We are God’s dwelling place. He lives in us because of what Jesus did on that cross. In fact, that’s why He did it! He wanted to dwell with us again just like He did with Adam and Eve in the garden.
1 Corinthians 3:16 in The Passion Translation says it this way, “Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes His permanent home in you?
Is that not the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard!?!
The inner sanctuary was the Holy of Holies. It was only accessible by the high priest of Israel under the old covenant, yet now we have become His inner sanctuary and His Spirit makes His permanent home in us! We have access to God all the time, we have His presence living inside of us! We don’t have to go and do, we just have to be.
It’s not about doing, it’s about being.
God dwells in me. I don’t have to go to a certain place to meet with Him or do anything special to get his attention so He doesn’t forget me….I get to just be with Him. All the time. Everyday. It takes the pressure off of me to perform or to strive and it allows me to enjoy His presence in my life. And I know that He won’t forget about me, because you can’t be forgotten if you’re His dwelling place.