Exodus 25: 8-9, “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.“
One of my favorite thing to do is to go and walk around IKEA daydreaming and looking at all the cool furniture they have. How amazing they are at putting themes together and making small spaces work. It takes special furniture to make such small spaces seem so big. Intentional stylists who pay attention to every detail and pull it all together to make a space useful, and beautiful.
Most of their furniture items are assemble yourself, so you have to go and obtain not only the boxed pieces to assemble, but also sometimes special tools in order to do it. The average screwdriver and nails are not normally apart of the package.
Now this can put a monkey wrench in my plans. If you are anything like me, I look at something and pretty much think, “I know how to do this, I don’t need to look at the instructions“. I have actually prided myself on many occasion at not needing to look at the instructions when bulding. If there is a picture, I think I can handle it. But, then find myself back at square one because the nuts and bolts are not what I’m use too, or what seemed to make sense when looking at the parts, somehow shifted midway through putting it together. I quickly learned, your own tools and screws just won’t always cut it. The say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’ve discovered the words can fall short of a true picture of what it takes to build what’s there.
That can be annoying to someone who likes to think they don’t need instruction. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t even take one look at the instructions before we begin assembling things. We are convinced that we have done this before, and most likely won’t need them anyway.
The COI were instructed by God, through Moses, to make a sanctuary according to the instructions that He would give them. He gave them the pattern and also what kind of instruments that they would need in order to build and complete it. While this may seem like a simply request for them, but I considered that these people who worked in the mud pits of Egypt, made bricks and built homes and buildings for a living, although probably not willingly. But they had gathered, I am sure, some great skills. Here they are now being told that God wants them to build a sanctuary, but only according to the instructions that He gives them. I often wondered if they had questions like, “Why does it need to be this way?“, or “I am pretty sure this would probably work better if it were like this“, and “In my experience, I have never seen something like that work“. I could hear them, as they often did throughout this wilderness escape and wondering, complaining and questioning God’s purpose and plans.
I see my life in Exodus 25:8-9, as someone who likes to think they have a pretty good understanding of some things in my life. I think I know myself, and even some of those around me. I like to think that I have a grip on life. But, there are times when God is asking me to lay aside what I think I know, and take up His instructions for me. To follow the instruction and directions God has given me, and do what doesn’t always come natural, which is trust. That can be hard for someone who has trust issues. Yep, even when it comes to God, I struggle with not trying to alter His plans or instructions for my life. Not in huge ways. I mean, I’m not crazy. I know God knows what’s best. But, couldn’t He “adjust” His plans just a little bit for me. Not too huge, but just a nut or bolt here or there. Perhaps a different piece of furniture for that corner, or can He even leave that room, part or portion in my life alone altogether and let me handle it.
What I am actually talking about is denying myself in the area of wanting to do things my way. Especially when I feel like I know how to do something and do it well. But I later find out that in some of, what seems like, the smallest details, you can really “Screw” yourself (No pun intended) into a bad spot. It is also important because all the parts of God’s instruction are purposeful, perfect and tailor made to help us grow into the men and women He has created us to be. If they are not followed…well, we could end up resting in something that is not secure and will collapse underneath us. Trust me….I know, lol.
Let us remember to follow the pattern which God has laid before us in His word. Yes, I am sure we all have felt at one time or another that we see a different way, or something that is faster, or more productive. Don’t take the shortcuts, because you will find eventually that one step in the wrong direction could leave you up under a pile of unnecessary mess.
Psalms 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.“
Proverbs 16:20, “Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.”