I am getting ready to have my office decorated...I don't really get to decorate it myself because that might turn out really frightening. So, I am turning it over to an expert - my wife. Right now, there are some items gathering in there that will eventually go on the walls. Seeing those things here reminds me of what I'm reading about during my devotional time. Did you know there was a time where God gave specific instructions about how His "House" should be decorated?!? He first laid out these plans in Exodus. After they escaped Egypt, He led them to the Promised Land. Part of that process involved giving them decorating directions on how the Tabernacle should look. Here is what I read today that jumped out at me:
"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)
If ever there was a decoration that was needed in God's House, it was making sure He had a place to be. I know that you really can't build a place for Him, since He is so much bigger than one place. But, He made it a point to tell them to make room for Him, so it must've been important to do so. They call this place the "Mercy Seat" - the place where God would dwell. So when He said he would meet with them there to give them all of His commands, that place becomes pretty important. There are many times in life where we make plans, and if we are going to be obedient to Him and expect Him to hear our cries, we had better be doing what He told us to do in the first place.
So as you pray this week, here are a few things to consider...
1. Are you listening to all of His commands? We can easily get to the place where we follow the commands that we WANT to follow, but we need to get to the place where we want to follow ALL of them. When God said He would give us all of His commands, that was because He wants us to follow all of them.
2. Are we praying so we can meet with Him, or just request things from Him? Our main goal in prayer should be to meet with Him, so we can become like Him. Prayer can become one-sided very easily, where we just give request after request of what we want/need from God. But it also involves us stopping what we are saying long enough to listen to what He is saying. When we do that, it may just change what we start asking for.
3. Are we asking Him what He wants for the people around us? This passage in Exodus lets us know that He had some things He wanted passed on to the Israelites. Why would He want that? Because He wanted them. Prayer isn't just about what we can get from God ourselves; it also means we need to be praying for others.
God told the Israelites about a place where they could/should meet with Him, and we have that same opportunity...at the place of prayer!