Intimacy with God – Part 1 – Reverence
God wants nothing more than to have intimacy with you. Not through your pastor, priest or prophet but directly with you.
This subject is not something that someone can write about or teach about without first experiencing it. It’s like reading a book on Prayer, if you’ve read many of them you get to the end and then you think to yourself well that was a good book…but did it inspire you to pray? I would venture to say most books you put aside and you don’t start praying. Why? Perhaps, the writer doesn’t really have a teaching anointing…or they have never experienced it. They can talk about it but they never did it themselves.
You can’t have Intimacy with God without cultivating a good prayer life. Therefore, just like teaching on prayer most sermons or books that you read about intimacy with God are good BUT they don’t tell you how to do it except….”God wants to spend more time with you” or “you should spend more time with God” and then you walk away thinking, OK. But the truth is, you still don’t know how to do it.
I am going to make you one promise – by the end of this series (it will be about 2 – 3 posts long) you will know EXACTLY how to develop an intimacy with God otherwise known as how to enter the Secret Place otherwise known as how to get into the Holy of Holies.
All you will need to do is follow the instructions and do it. I can point to the door and show you how to enter but only you can go there. I cannot transfer my intimacy with God to you. You have to develop your own.
What you are going to learn here is a tried and true formula that I have taught to others who now talk to God on a daily basis and hear directly from Him.
In the Secret Place is where you get your own prophetic word for your life and no you won’t need to “sow a seed” to get it! You also receive answers to all the problems you are facing. You receive directions and instructions. You receive spiritual gifting and anointing. You receive miracles. You receiving security and peace. You receive your purpose and destiny for your life. But more importantly, you meet with the Holy One of Israel, the Creator of heaven and earth. You receive Him.
To get a full understanding of entering the Secret Place of the Most High God you need to understand how people entered the Secret place in the old testament. Why? There is a formula here that most people miss and it prevents them from entering into the presence of God.
In this diagrams you see that the tabernacle where God lived was in the center of the camp. These are the tribes of Israel.
The only person allowed back then to enter this place were the priests and they had to be from the tribe of Levi. Anyone who touched or entered the tabernacle would die if they were not a priest from the tribe of Levi (Read Numbers 1)
Here is a look at each piece of the tabernacle:
Here are the dimensions of tabernacle (which will be important to explain timing which you will learn in the next post)
The entire tabernacle is 150 feet long
The Holy Place, including the Holy of Holies is 30 feet long
Th Holy Place is twice the size of the Holy of Holies so the Secret Place is 10 feet long
Read Exodus 35 – 38 and you will see all the specifications of the tabernacle given by God.
Exodus 25:9 New International Version (NIV) “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” God is very specific in His instructions of how we do what we do.
The Holy of Holies housed the Ark of the Covenant of God which was behind a veil that goes up 30 feet high. The Ark had 2 Cherubim (angels) over of and the glory of God shone up between the wings of the Cherubim.
Exodus 25:17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.”
So this is the progression to get to the Holy of Holies.
- The priest enters the entrance, with the sacrifice. There were different sacrifices for the different sins. Leviticus 1 – 5 outlines all of the sacrifices for the different sins Leviticus 1:3-9
- He then washes himself in the brazen laver Exodus 30:19-21. If he does not wash himself when he enters the Holy Place he will die.
- In the Holy Place his only source of the light is the lampstand which is a Menorah. Without this he would be stumbling in the dark.
- In the Holy Place there is also the table of table of Showbread which is bread that he uses as a communion and fellowship with God. When you bread or eat with someone you are in fellowship with them
- In the Holy Place is also the altar of incense which is in front of the curtain to the Holy of Holies. The command from God was that this incense should stay burning day and night before Him. Exodus 30:34-38
- Behind the curtain or veil is the Holy of Holies which is the Secret Place, the habitation of God. Holy of Holies is like saying King of Kings. It is the highest point of Holiness. It is God’s dwelling place.”But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” (Hebrews 9:7)
- In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” (Exodus 25:22)“…the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark.” (2 Samuel 6:2)“O Lord Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.” (Isaiah 37:16)
Remember that God is still God. The same God of the Old Testament is the same God that you are trying to develop intimacy with today. He’s the same God. Now think about how SPECIFIC he was on how he was approached.
Jesus, removed only one piece of this process and that is the veil that keeps the Holy of Holies out of reach from you and I and everyone else who wants to know and get into the presence of God.
Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice through His death.
Matthew 27:50-54 New International Version (NIV)
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
So the veil to the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom thereby shining forth the Glory of God into the entire tabernacle
Can you imagine how terrified everyone was when that happened? In one moment the way in which they had access to God changed! They became instantly aware that Jesus was indeed God.
No more atonement for sin was necessary to access the Shekinah Glory of God!
We have access.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
So now that we know that we can approach God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, why are we still lacking the presence of God in our daily life? Why can’t we just get into the presence of God instantly?
As I see it, what Jesus did was become the ultimate sacrifice and tore the veil. He never changed who God was.
Jesus allowed everyone to enter the tabernacle. He never changed who God was.
Therefore, when you approach God you must never forget who God is. Never forget who you are speaking to. Never forget that He is STILL Holy. Yes, Holiness is still in! The veil being torn didn’t change that.
Having travel to many different countries and watched how they worship and interact, I can say that the American church seems to have lost reverence. The reverential fear of the Lord
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.”
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
I can say that looking at the American church this irreverence to God is obvious in most. How so? Let’s look at the tabernacle again and this time overlay it with the church and imagine that there is no veil
So now ask yourself the question, how am I entering the presence of God? Am I on time and ready to worship or am I running in right before the message starts foregoing the worship?
How am I dressed? God had very specific instructions on how the priests needed to be dressed. Would God be pleased with how you are dressed? Are you distracting others from entering the presence of God by the way you are dressed? Does your appearance say that you are there to meet with God?
When you are getting your coffee in the lobby of the church are you finishing it in the outer courts or are you taking this in and drinking while the sermon is going on? Why are you doing this? Is it honoring to the Most High God?
Since we have entered the age of social media we now have photos being taken of pastor or the praise team to be uploaded to social media channels. Since they are already on their Facebook from sharing the photo they proceed to read through the feed. Is this worshiping God? NO! Church is no longer about worshiping God. The reverence is missing.
When we take the focus off worshiping God and make it about us the only thing that happens is an emotional experience that feeds the flesh. So once church is over, everything goes back to the way it was until next Sunday because the fleshly soulish desires got fed and the spirit man is still malnourished.
This is not being religious and it is not to judge anyone. This merely to say, if you want to develop intimacy with God you must first understand who God is. Be mindful when you enter the house and the presence of God.
Just imagine if you received a call to go and meet the president (imagine the one you admire the most – Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Trump, Washington whomever you hold in high esteem) how are you going to be dressed to meet with him? I believe you would be dressed to impress because what would be the ultimate thing is if you get invited to meet with him again, right??
When we first come to meet the Lord He comes down to our level, but this is just for the initial meeting as the purpose is to then take us UP to His level. After you have been saved, you start reading the word of God and slowly begin to realize that some of the things you used to do you can no longer do.
While you may have had unlimited access to hearing from God when you were a new believer, many of the things that He allowed to slide in the beginning is no longer acceptable at the next level. You must change. Going from Glory to Glory.
You may notice in your church that the leaders and the worship team may dress inappropriately ministering in the church. Always remember that God is not going to hold you accountable for them. You need to focus on yourself. This is how you will develop intimacy with Him.
It starts with how you see Him.
Grace is wonderful but there is also a thing called cheap grace. This is where people use it as a license to do whatever they want because God will forgive them. Here’s what God has to say about that
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
There is a price to be paid for intimacy with God.
If you feel like you once had an intimate relationship with God but now it is no longer there, that is because God had withdrawn himself away from you. He needs you to come UP higher. You start this process by renewing your mind with the knowledge of who God is.
Spend some time in prayer asking God if you have dishonored Him in any way in how you are approaching Him. Whether it is in church or in your home. Ask Him to restore the reverential fear that you may have lost. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you so that you can honor Him as He should be honored in your life.
Exodus 33:13 New King James Version (NKJV) “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.”
Here is a post that will help you to understand more about God
I feel the need to share with you some additional reading materials. These are the 2 best books that I know of that describe God Knowledge of the Holy and the Pursuit of God. Both are by AW Tozer. Here is an audio of the Pursuit of God. This will help you greatly as it did me when I started my walk with the Lord. I would highly recommend you purchase them because these are books that you’ll read over and over again, especially if you feel yourself drifting off the path from God.
I hope this helped you take the first step. Don’t just see the Lamb see the Lion too. Share your comments below.