A Pre-requisite to God's Presence

Aaron Cordeiro

"All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord. They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle,[a] for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments." (Exodus 35:21)
I noticed something about Gods presence here in chapter 35, where there was a pre-requisite to His presence filling the temple, and being among His people. If you read and study the book of exodus, God is leading the people out of bondage to a place where they are free to worship God, making Israel His children, and the children of Israel making Yahweh their God. We see the Lord through Moses setting up different systems, priests, and way of life so God would may dwell among His people. The people were doing well until they let their fears get the best of them in Chapter 32 and fashioned the golden calf to have some type of security. God steps in again purifying the camp. Have you ever noticed that God never forces His children in these things, but always graciously leads them back . Then they go off and get themselves into trouble and God patiently leads them back again and again. At the end of Exodus we see that when the temple was finally finished the Presence of God filled the temple and "dwelt among His people". The pre-requisite to this that I noticed was that the people brought offerings of free will. They no longer saw Gods work as a task, as a job, or an obligation. They recognized Gods grace and mercy so much, that it stirred their hearts and moved them to bring sacred offerings before the Lord.
What made it sacred was not the materials that were brought before the Lord, but the hearts that were moved in free will, on a voluntary basis to give to Gods service. In the past the people were looking at God and what God could do for them. This is why they made a golden calf, because they didn't think Moses and God were coming back. In their minds God was there to serve them. Its different here, the people were here now to serve God and nothing else.
God doesn't want my money, fortune, or materials that I give because He already owns it all. God wants my heart. With out our hearts our gifts we give won't be worth much. When we serve God with all our hearts God calls it sacred, and delights to be among His children with this kind of heart. I never want to fall into thinking that God is here to serve me, or the church is here to serve me, or people owe me something. You would never see Jesus is these camps, and I don't ever want to caught there.
Heavenly Father,
My heart is Yours, and only Yours. Thank you for the heart check this morning. I realize there may be times when I don't feel You, or see you as the children of Israel experienced. This is never a license to find security in my self, others, or temporal things. I serve You alone, I yearn for Your presence, that is all that matters! Amen!

Devotions for February 03

Exodus 35,36
Acts 10

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