Friday, 21 June 2013

Dear Pilgrim, are you aware of how beautiful your aroma is?

Dear Pilgim, are you aware of how beautiful your aroma is today?

I can see from the look in your eyes, even the tears now welling in your eyes, that you are all too aware of what you perceive to be the foul stench of sin wafting around you. How you desire to be completely pure, to be free from the daily battle that corrupts and stains even the purest offering you can bring Him. How your heart trembles with sadness that even your love for Him is tainted. You think about your righteousness being like filthy rags before Him, and you are broken, emptied of self, bowed low before Him.

Dear Pilgrim, I urge you to take in a deep breath – and listen to the voice of your Beloved:

Oh Pilgrim, what a precious truth it is that unlike the idols which cannot smell, Yahweh can! As He breathed out into the nostrils of man His very breath, giving him life and fellowship with Himself, so too as man walked with the LORD in the Garden, the LORD breathed in the pleasing aroma and fragrance of fellowship with him – and He declared that it was very good.

Sin caused a stench in the nostrils of our Holy God. But Pilgrim, come with me to Golgotha. Walk soberly. We are walking on the Holiest of ground. Kneel with me here at the foot of His cross. Lift your face – see Him there, Lamb of God, bloody, disfigured, bearing your sin, my sin, in His body on that tree. And as you gaze upon Your Saviour, take this truth into your heart, that He gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. As He hung on that cross, He was a fragrant offering! Only the Son of God could possibly bear all of our sin on His shoulders and at the same time be a fragrant offering before His Father. For this is His beloved Son, whom He loves, with Him He is well pleased.

Precious Pilgrim, do you see? The Son is a fragrant offering to the Father. As you come before your Father, in the Name of His beloved Son, trusting only in Him, in His righteousness, then everything you offer your Father becomes a fragrant offering, acceptable to Him. Your prayers rise up as a precious, holy fragrance to the throne room just like the incense from the golden altar before the Ark of the Testimony in the Tabernacle. Your acts of love towards your brethren become a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. You are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

And as you worship your Saviour, the Beloved Son, kneeling at His feet, pouring your heart out to Him, for Him, in adoration of Who He is, all He has done and all He will yet do, the Garden is once more filled with the fragrance of perfume.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dear Pilgrim, dare you walk by a new and living Way?

Dear Pilgrim, I see you are still here in the courtyard of the tabernacle. Like the lame man who was begging at the Beautiful Gate, I see you also have come into the courtyard and you are walking and jumping and praising God for His healing touch upon your life, and just as the crowds were filled with wonder and amazement at what happened to the lame man, so too they respond to what the Lord has done in you in the same way. May His Name be praised! What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus! To have our sins forgiven through the pouring out of His blood, to be washed clean in the water of His word….what more could we want? How many people have spent so much time rejoicing and exulting in the truth that they now have peace with God, that they have remained forever in the courtyard?

Oh, dear precious Pilgrim…look up again! The tabernacle…we have not even entered into it yet!

The Lord walked with His people in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day – but the only time we read of this is when the heads of Adam and Eve were already held down in shame as a result of their sin and they hid from the Lord. Yet His desire is to walk among His people, His people walking with their heads held high, their fellowship with Him restored. And for those who enter through the narrow Gate of the tabernacle, who accept the sacrifice made once and for all at the bronze altar, who have their feet washed at the bronze laver, fellowship is made possible once again.

But Pilgrim, do not hold back, for here in the courtyard it is not possible to experience this intimacy of relationship. Walk with me into the tabernacle – to the place of gold! The gold table of the bread of the Presence, the gold lampstand, the gold altar of incense. And then notice the curtain torn in two from top to bottom at the far end of this room, and dare to walk into the Most Holy Place, by a new and living way. See the golden ark of the covenant, where the Spirit of the living God will write upon the tablet of your heart, provide you daily with all you need, and remind you that you have been chosen of God, and appointed to go and bear fruit that will last. See the golden cherubim with their wings outstretched above the mercy seat of Christ, sprinkled with the precious blood of Christ, the place where God met with Moses and spoke with him. Notice that the only light in this Most Holy Place is the shekinah glory of God Himself. And as you kneel here and meet with God, gazing into the glory of God in the face of Christ, you will be amazed at how despite your head being bowed low before Him, He tenderly lifts it to enable you to walk with your head held high.