“Did I say that out loud?” Do you ever have moments when you catch yourself doing or saying things that seem out of character for you? These are times when are brains and our mouths get out of synch. What seemed like the right thing to us didn’t quite end up that way in the final analysis.
As the Holy Spirit enters our lives, He starts to question us about our behavior. He points out the things we say, do, feel, believe that don’t line up with God’s Word. He has a sort of “domino effect” on the areas of our lives. Things that need to change begin to stick out like an elephant on the table.
I have found this process both exhilarating and terrifying. On one hand, God is showing us what is possible and how to live wholly for Him. Life starts to make sense and we make sense in light of Him, even with all our shortcomings. The fragments of our disconnected selves start to work together in making more of the whole than its parts. On the other hand, change requires courage to live differently. Sometimes we’d rather keep right on doing what we are doing, as we strain to see around that elephant. It’s easier to continue to indulge the parts than to disciple yourself in becoming a whole.
We are called to live integrated lives. Just as the Israelites worked together to build a tabernacle for the Lord, so we are to come together as a unit in Christ. “Then they made fifty gold clasps and used them to fasten the two sets of curtains together so that the tabernacle was a unit” Exodus 36:13
Just as the tabernacle had outer courts, inner courts, and the most Holy of Holies, so are we made up of different parts. Our physical bodies are the outer courts and our inner courts consist of our emotions, thoughts, and will. The most Holy of Holies is our spirit and the place where the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. As a unit, we have to consider all its parts.
Would it have been God’s desire for the Israelites to neglect any part of the tabernacle? Would He approve of disregard for His design specifications? What if the workers said, “You know this outer court area isn’t as important, let’s just leave it for later.” But this is in essence what we say when we don’t consider how we feed and care for our physical bodies. What if the workers had said, “I know God said the inner courts should be this, but that’s just too much work, let’s make it easier on ourselves.” But the easy route is what we are taking when we avoid dealing with poor attitudes, negative thoughts, or wrong actions in light of what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us.
What is your tabernacle saying out loud? Let’s do the work as God commissioned. His design is perfect and pleasing. God has sent “His Foreman”, the Holy Spirit, to oversee the job site and keep us on task.