As in any relationship, there are times when one will feel distant from their loved one. I have found that when this happens in my relationship with my husband John, we need to find a way to spend more time with each other. I don’t think this is any different in my relationship with Yahweh. I pray, read my Bible, go to fellowship meetings, but I am basically going through the motions. I think everyone goes through these dry periods, where it seems that your prayers are not going any further than the ceiling. I have read that these times are when your faith is being tested and if you continue to be faithful to His Word, and keep seeking His Presence, that your roots of intimacy with Him are being strengthened and your times of refreshing will be even greater. I have experienced this myself.
As I read about the daily sacrifices the priests did in the Tabernacle, I think this is a good picture of how we prepare ourselves to be in His Presence. As we approach the laver, which is in the outer court, we repent and ask for a cleansing of our hearts. “Psalm 51:7-10 says, cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean: wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
From the laver, we go to the altar of sacrifice. There we offer praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done, and all that He is. We present our bodies, a living and holy sacrifice. Romans 12:1 says, “therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” We acknowledge that we give Him all that we are and all that we hope to be in Yeshua’s name.
From here we return to the laver which can serve as a picture of the Word. We spend time reading and listening to His Word. Psalms 119:11 says, “Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” What is the fresh word He is speaking to us now?
From the laver, we approach the menorah. The menorah is represented in Isaiah 11:1,2; “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord-and he will delight in the fear of the Yahweh.” The fear of Yahweh hates evil.
After the menorah, we go to the Altar of Incense. It is at this altar that we praise and proclaim the name of Yahweh. Exodus 15:2 says “Yahweh is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Verse 11 says. “Who among the gods is like you, O Yahweh? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”
Then we approach the Table of the Bread of the Presence. This table has 12 loaves that are the same shape and size, all arranged in perfect order. At this place, we recognize the whole Body of believers. I think of the whole house of Israel being reunited and working together. Amos 9:11 says “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name.” declares Yahweh, who will do these things. Ezekiel 37:19, 26-28 says “This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph-which is in Ephraim’s hand – and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand. Verses 26-28 say, “I will make a covenant of peace with them, it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them: I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I Yahweh will make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.”
From this inner court, we can go into the Holy of Holies, where we can be in His Presence and commune and fellowship with Him. Psalms 27:4 says, “One thing I ask of Yahweh, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of Yahweh and to seek him in his temple.” I also love what it says in Psalms 25: 14, “The secret (of the sweet, satisfying companionship) of the Lord have they who fear – revere and worship – Him, and He will show them His covenant, and reveal to them its (deep, inner) meaning.”
These steps are helpful for me to prepare to be near Him. I hope they are helpful for you as well. Blessings.