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The Tabernacle of Our Hearts

Have you ever tried to read the Old Testament and wondered what it can possibly teach us about our relationship with God today? Even though we don't have to make animal sacrifices any longer (whew!) or sit outside the camp for seven days when we're on our period (for Pete's sake), God's nature never changes. So, when I read the OT, I ask God to show me what I can learn about His nature that's relevant for our relationship today. Today's message is one of the things He's showed me recently.

The Tabernacle was the Israelites "church" while they were in the wilderness. Everything was able to be packed up and moved, but it was designed with great intricacy and beauty. The Spirit of God lived in the Tabernacle, resting on the Ark of the Covenant, inside the most holy place. God doesn't live in specific places like that today, no matter how elaborate or simple. He lives inside us in the form of the Holy Spirit when we invite Him to be our Lord and Savior. We can welcome Him and fan the flame of the Holy Spirit, or we can barely recognize that He's there.

You can read Numbers 7:84-88 to get a feel for what went into creating the elaborate and ornate Tabernacle.

On the outside, the Tabernacle was covered in goat skins that nobody would look at twice. On the inside, it's intricate carvings and walls were covered in pure gold. The air was perfumed with incense. There was special bread, oil, and wine, unique instruments for serving, carved candelabras, curtains embroidered with colorful thread, and horns that blew at specific times. There were singers and priests in intricate robes made with pure gold thread. It must have been incredible. (You can read about all the interesting details here.)

In the same way the Israelite tribes gave offerings to God to set up the Tabernacle, we also can give offerings to God to create a tabernacle in our own hearts. Our offerings are called spiritual disciplines. They're things like spending time in solitude with Him - reading Scripture, praying singing praise, fasting, silence, and worship.

It also honors God when we use our creativity. Those offerings are holy and good, just like the artisans who created the intricate decorations for the Tabernacle (and later, the Temple). Our creativity can look like writing, composing music, and creating murals. It can also look like playing with a child, making a delicious meal for our loved ones, creating an encouraging social media post, and running the sound for a church service.

WE are now God's Tabernacle or resting place. As Christians, that's what our hearts become! We can create a cathedral or keep a warehouse. Using our gifts to honor God is a sacrifice of praise. It honors the Lord!

God understands our weaknesses and lack. Our offerings don't have to be perfect for Him. He created us! He is our DEFENDER, not a critical, perfectionistic authority figure for whom nothing is ever good enough. In art, a mistake is often the thing that creates the most depth and beauty. God uses our weaknesses to display His strength. The Tabernacle of our hearts can be FULL OF TREASURES that are pleasing to God!

Ask God to show you what the tabernacle of your heart looks like to Him. If you have a dream about a house, God is answering your prayer. Is the house in your dream full of wonders and goodness? Is it a blank slate just ready to be filled? Is it a place of fear and darkness? God recently gave me a glimpse into my heart in a dream. It was a room full of things too good to try to explain, but there was also a shadow of fear that tinged everything. God showed me that the thing I feared was basically a joke, and I'm safe in Him.

If you ask God to show you what your heart looks like, what you see probably won't be all good or all bad. Pay attention to the details. Write the dream down right away and include everything you can remember. (My dream took several weeks of prayer and journaling to interpret, and I brought it to a few trusted friends before I fully understood the message God sent me.) Then, ask God what He wants you to do about it. He showed me that I need to confront fear when it tries to steal the joy of His goodness to me, giving it no place in my heart again. If we have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, God has given us everything we need to be able to deal with whatever He shows us effectively.

Ask God to show you anything in your heart that needs to be dealt with, then trust that His power at work in you will help you root out anything that doesn't belong. I'd be happy to pray with you about what's happening in your heart. Message me at Also, if you need help to overcome something that's holding you back, I'm a certified coach who can help you identify goals and take practical, measurable steps to get you on the right track. You can check out the coaching section of my website for more details.

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