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Entering The Holy of Holies
A Letter from Terry Law, World Compassion (Terry Law Ministries), to his mailing list.
We are now ready to enter the presence of God!
In our journey through the Tabernacle of Moses, we have finally reached the golden altar of incense. The only thing separating us from the presence of God in the Holy of Holies is the final veil!
Here at the altar of incense, we release the love that's in our hearts for the One who made us, redeemed us and blesses us. Our heart-felt adoration rises up from the altar of incense. Suddenly, a divine connection is made and our praise is changed to worship, which carries us into the Holy of Holies, into the very presence of God.
The golden altar of incense stood in the Holy Place immediately in front of the veil. This golden altar was 18 inches square and stood three feet high, with a golden horn on each corner. Every morning and evening, the priests burned a special incense here, and a beautiful, fragrant, white smoke rose up from the altar before the curtain into the Holy of Holies.
This incense represents our emotions – our heart-felt praise.
To Enter The Holy Of Holies
The high priest could never approach the presence of God without bringing two things: blood to sprinkle upon the mercy seat, and incense from the golden altar to burn before the Lord. If he tried to get into the presence of God without either one, he would be struck dead!
These are also the two things that bring you to God: the awareness of the work of the blood of Jesus in your life, and your praise and worship. These are two vital components of true worship. When you express your gratitude to God for the blood of Jesus, something happens in your spirit that propels you into the presence of God.
An Example Of Worship
A powerful illustration of this is found in Luke 7. While Jesus was eating at the home of Simon, a Pharisee, a sinful woman of the city entered with an alabaster box of ointment. First, she stood weeping at Jesus' feet, then...
...she washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Here is a picture of a true worshipping heart. This woman knew she had nothing to be proud of. She knew her mistakes – in fact, the whole town knew her mistakes! She came with brokenness and tears.
She washed Jesus' feet and kissed them again and again. What an incredible display of emotion! She didn't care what other people thought. She was there to lavish the love of her heart on Jesus.
Who Loves Most?
At this point, Jesus said something very significant. He said, "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much." (Lk 7:47.) The woman poured out her heart to Jesus. And He forgave her sins. When you truly worship the Lord, the sin problem is taken care of. Praise God!
Then Jesus turned to Simon, the proud Pharisee, and rebuked him, saying, "Simon, you don't think you've been forgiven much because you're so good. So you don't love very much. This woman knows she has been forgiven a whole lot and that is why she loves so intensely." You see...
The fervency of your worship is directly related to how much you know you need the grace of God. If we start trusting in our own reputation, and in what we've done for God, we will miss out, because a person filled with pride cannot worship! So examine yourself. Then come to God knowing that even though you were a sinner, you have been given the awesome privilege to actually be in the presence of the Holy God.
The Alabaster Box
When the woman brought the alabaster box of precious ointment, she had to break the box. That was the only way the perfume could flow out. In like manner, some of us keep our emotions stored up in an alabaster box. We need to break the protective walls that surround our feelings, so we can let them flow out and lavish them on the Lord.
Breaking Through Barriers
In our culture it is hard for some of us to express what we feel in our hearts towards someone else. Your reluctance to express the passion and love of your heart will stop you from embracing the Lord and moving into where He is, into the power of His presence. If you're going to worship God you've got to be willing to let the barriers down and to throw yourself in adoration upon the Lord.
How do you begin? Let me explain it this way: Worship is like love – if conditions are right – you will do it naturally. If you love someone, you will want to hug or kiss them as an expression of the way you feel; but if you don't love them, hugging and kissing them won't cause love to grow. The hugs and kisses are an expression of something you have inside, not a performance you do to stir up love.
In the same way, you don't 'perform' worship. Rather...
...when you love God, you are going to express that love. You may sing or clap, you may dance, or you may be absolutely silent and do nothing. Each individual has his own unique response.
The Divine Spark
It's important to see ... it's the presence of God that actually creates worship. Worship is the expression of your spirit toward Almighty God, and when conditions are right, it happens.
Have you ever walked across a room in winter when it was dry and cold and then touched someone? Remember what happened? When you were just about to touch, a spark jumped the gap, and you both got a shock.
In a sense, that is what happens when you pass from praise into worship. You are praising and thanking the Lord, when all of a sudden love wells up, and adoration comes exploding out of your innermost being. There's a snap, and the electricity is there.
There is an awesome sense now: God is here, He is around you. This is worship. You may cry, you may dance, you may clap, you may fall to your knees, you may be absolutely quiet, but the presence of God is there and you know it.
For This You Were Created
The pattern for the high priest to proceed into the presence of God is very significant for us today. Every stop along the way has been designed by God to prepare you for this moment...
Your sin has been dealt with at the altar of brass, the dust of life has been washed away at the brazen laver. At the table of showbread you have submitted your will to God, and you have quieted the objections of your mind at the golden candlestick. Now you offer your heart-felt praise at the altar of incense.
Suddenly, there's that divine 'snap' – that moment of electricity – and you sense the awesome presence of God. With your whole being you reach out to God and feel His power, love, acceptance, and blessings flowing to you.
There is no other joy or peace like this. For this you were created!
As a partner of this ministry, you are special to us. Shirley and I want to encourage you in every way possible. We are praying that God will minister His love, joy and peace to you in a very special way as you set aside time to truly worship Him in His presence.
God bless you,
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