Whatever we believe about God, we have to encounter. Otherwise, we set ourselves up for a relationship with God that is established only in tradition. Although tradition is important, if it is not dealt with properly, it can get in the way of a direct encounter with God. Encountering Him is something we are spiritually wired for.
When we take a hard look at scripture, we find that God has always desired us to encounter Him. Beginning with Adam and Eve, God’s heart was to walk with His children and for them to walk with Him in the “cool of the day” (see Genesis 2). Because of the fall, mankind was repositioned for an encounter away from God and towards sin (see Psalms 51:5). Through the deceitfulness of the devil, mankind has settled for a life without direct encounters.
God wants His people to encounter Him. When Moses was called to deliver the Israelites out of Egpyt, God’s mission was to bring His people towards a meeting with Him on Mount Sinai. It was the people of God that asked Moses for an exemption to encounter God (see Exodus 20:19). It was not God’s request.
Moses Wanted To Encounter God
Even though the people of God rejected a direct encounter, Moses desired to see God face to face. In Exodus 33:18, Moses says to God, “...please show me your glory.” Even though Moses had seen God perform many miracles, he wanted more of God’s presence. This theme would mark Moses’ ministry as he led the children of Israel out of Egypt and to the promised land.
After Moses saw God’s glory, God revealed to him the plans of his government along with a meeting place where Moses could enjoy God’s presence on a regular basis. This meeting place was called the “tent of meeting.” In the tent, God’s presence would descend so that Moses could encounter the glory of God. This was a pivotal place in the ministry of Moses. In the meetings, not only would God reveal to Moses wisdom and instruction, but He would fill the tent with His tangible glory (see Exodus 40:34).
The tent of meeting was designed for Moses to encounter the glory of God. This meeting place mattered so much to God, that he asked Moses to command the people to build their homes facing it.
“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.” (Numbers 2:1-2)
God wanted all of His people to face their camps towards the tent of meeting. This reflects God’s deep desire for His people to live intentionally towards an encounter. He wants us to meet him every day! Each day, as the people of God would wake up, they would live life conscience of the fact that God wanted to meet with them.
Jesus The High Priest
This invitation towards an encounter with God did not stop in the Old Testament with the Israelites. Through Jesus Christ, we have been given access to a daily encounter with the presence of God.
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus.” (Hebrews 10:9)
In the Old Testament, the holy place was reserved only for the high priest. Because Jesus is now our heavenly high priest, we have direct access to the presence of God. What the people of God could only glimpse in the Old Testament, we now have direct access to.
God’s mission to encounter His children was introduced by Moses and executed by Yeshua. Through his blood, we now can come boldly before the throne of grace and communion with God.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Through his own blood, Jesus has purchased the right for us to encounter God. Sin no longer has dominion over our lives and has lost its right to separate us from the presence of God. Because of Jesus, we can walk right into the tent of meeting each and every day.
Facing A Direct Encounter
In the Old Testament, the people of God would watch Moses enter the tent of meeting. Now, as God’s people, we can walk right into the tangible tent of God’s presence. We no longer have to face it from a distance, we have direct access. God’s desire for an encounter with His people was completed through the sacrifice of Jesus.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:19-23)
Today, align your life towards an encounter with God. For this reason, Jesus was given as an eternal sacrifice. God wants to reveal himself to you in tangible ways. The same way he did for Moses. His heart has a place for you. The curtain has been opened for a direct encounter.