Devotion - June 15

While Pastor Laurie is away, our devotions are from members of the West Side family. It's a gift to hear and join in how others in our fellowship are walking with Jesus during this time.

Today’s devotion is from Craig Chamberlain. Craig leads the design team at Fujifilm Sonosite and is a former Teaching Leader for Bible Study Fellowship.

Exodus 40:34-35, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, Acts 2:1-3

Daily, prayerful immersion in God’s Word.

We’ve all heard many times our need for this. We’ve been encouraged by Pastor Laurie and others to do this. So, we know we need it, but WHY do we need it?

Well, a few years back I was studying the life of Moses, the man God chose to lead His people in their Exodus out of Egypt. A big focus of the book of Exodus is the creation of the Tabernacle. And it’s through the description of the materials and craftsmanship we get an overwhelming sense of the beauty and majesty of God’s dwelling place.

They finish the Tabernacle and what happens?

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

God fills the Tabernacle with His presence and dwells in the midst of His people.

More recently I was studying the history of God’s people in the Promised Land. After David brought peace and stability to the nation, Solomon was charged with building God’s Temple. Again, we saw the stunning wealth and craftsmanship that went into building God’s dwelling place.

They finish the Temple and what happens?

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,

“He is good; his love endures forever.”

God fills the Temple with His presence and dwells in the midst of His people.

Just last year I was studying the book of Acts. What happens right at the beginning of Acts?

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

God fills His Temple with His presence and now dwells IN His people.

We are now God’s temple and His Spirit dwells in each of us. In all three of these events, God’s people made space for God in their lives and what did God do? He filled it.

That’s His promise. If we make space for Him, we can expect Him to fill it. Now, it may not be in the way we thought He would do it, but He will always fill it. And when He’s filling that space, our hearts are transformed to reflect Him, our perspectives are changed to see this world with His eyes, and our actions are guided by His Spirit to build His Kingdom.

In these present trials we face, this is what we need. His heart to love others as He loves them, His eyes to see poverty, injustice, and oppression, and His hands to do something about it.
All of the spiritual disciplines; studying God’s Word, prayer, fasting, silence, solitude, worship, allow us to change our focus, to make a space for God, knowing He will fill it.

So, that’s my invitation to you. Make space for God and watch Him fill it, experience His transforming power in your life. And a daily, prayerful immersion in God’s Word is a great place to start.
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