Summary: The importance of being deliberate and guarding your time with God, as well as pursing intimacy with HIM
Stay in the Tent!
CCCAG February 12th, 2017
Scripture: Exodus 33:7-11
In my early days of being a Christian, I was working in an electronics factory. Tammie and I had been arguing over something that morning when she got home from work after closing the restaurant she managed, and I left for work angry. At that time, I was getting a ride to work from a coworker as we didn’t have a car, and I lived about 8 miles away from my job.
As I sat on the assembly line, I was fuming over the fight. Usually, I didn’t let things get under my skin, but Tammie was driving me crazy about this and my mind kept playing the argument over and over again in my head thinking of better ways of winning the fight. I kept feeling God knocking on the door of my heart, but I kept ignoring it and letting the anger fuel my rage at the situation until my lead came over and ask me what was wrong. He said it was like a dark cloud was hanging over my head and I looked like I was ready to kill someone. I blew him off a bit saying I didn’t want to talk about it.
That insistent knocking of Jesus on my heart grew louder, and harder, and actually was quite irritating.
Has anyone ever been there- Jesus is knocking, and you just want HIM to go away and leave you alone so you can wallow in whatever situation HE’s trying to get you out of?
As I kept trying to ignore the prompting of the LORD, I felt an almost suffocating weight descending on me- much like what people who have anxiety have described what they feel- but I don’t suffer anxiety.
I’m German and Norwegian…we don’t feel fear? (Joke)
As this weight kept pressing on me, the current job on that line ended. There was a parts delay of a few hours on the next job, and there wasn’t much else for us to do so my boss came up to me and told me I could go home if I wanted. The problem was- my ride was on another line that would be working for several more hours, and no one else was going my way.
So I walked home. Over 8 miles. In January.
That’s like walking from here to Pigeon Falls, and half of that walk would be in the county, all alone in the fields before I hit the city limits.
It was the best thing I could have done. Getting alone, quiet, and away from the noise of life where I could hear God’s voice again and humble myself before HIM and turn from my stubbornness.
I’ve always remembered that time, and I try to do the same thing now- when life gets too busy, the noise of life is too loud, or the demands get too heavy and seem insurmountable-
I go away. I walk in the woods, go for a long drive, get alone by myself so I can quiet my spirit and hear from God.
There are tons of scriptural examples of this, so let’s look at one of them- (David, John the Baptist, Jesus)
Moses is the first to model that for us in the bible. (from our reading)
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
What can we learn from what Moses was doing here- setting up a tent for his personal prayer use.
The first thing we find about the Tent of Meeting is that it was-
Think of his situation-
Moses is about 85 years old.
He has the best access to God of any person that has ever lived- God has descended on the mountain in front of Him, and all he has to do speak to God is climb up the mountain a ways and he will be in God’s presence. In fact, the presence of God is so powerful and manifested there that he can exist within that presence for extended periods of time without food or water (40 days!)