Article 11 : Thoughts from the cross trainer


The other morning when I was pounding away on my cross trainer and the sweat was running down my brow … oh I might need to rephrase that … but first, a wee quiz, which is always popular in these lockdown days:

        Which well–known novel has these opening lines?

         “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

 Hands up … yes, Ruth Scott got it (Ruth knows just about everything!). They are the opening lines of Pride and Prejudice. I studied this for O levels (that’s what we called GCSEs in the olden days) and, despite that, I still loved that book! But, I feel Elizabeth Bennett would never have admitted to sweating, but instead would have said her forehead was ‘bedewed’! 

However, I was definitely sweating! And, thinking.

I’ve been reading Leviticus, which can seem a bit hard going at times, but there’s always truth to be gleaned in the Word, isn’t there?

In Chapters 8 and 9, we read about the incredibly detailed instructions that God gave to Moses about how to prepare all the various sacrifices that were going to be needed in the ministry of the Tent of Meeting. Also, how to prepare his brother, Aaron, and his sons to act as priests in the Tent of Meeting.

There were special animals, grain, oil and water to be prepared. Then, Aaron and his sons were to be washed and dressed in special clothing. They were to be anointed with oil, made to the Lord’s specifications, and used only for that purpose.

There were also instructions as to the procedures they would have to undertake in the slaughter of the animals and what to do with the blood, the various body parts and the bread that had been made. The altar also was to be anointed, ready for the service of the Lord.

This ordination period lasted for 7 days. Then, in Chapter 9, we see Aaron and his sons begin their ministry. In my Bible, the heading is “The Priests Begin Their Ministry”. Can you imagine how that must have been for them? They would be so scared that first time, in case they’d got something wrong and they’d be consumed by the holy presence of God.

Moses gathered all the people together. Aaron and his sons completed all the instructions they’d been given and, then, Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting to meet with God. It says that when they came out, they blessed all the people and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.

The emphasis here is on the absolute holiness of God. The only possible way for a priest to approach His presence, and live to tell the tale, was through these intricate and detailed procedures.  

While we certainly understand that our Lord is holy and read in 1Timothy, 6:16:

“… who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might forever. Amen.”

Nevertheless, at the same time, we must also hold another truth, which seems almost the opposite, namely, that this same holy God invites us to call Him, Abba Father, Daddy God – and to run into His arms that He holds open wide to welcome us, no matter where we are, no matter what time of day.

All because Jesus has been made our once–for–all–time sacrifice, there’s no need for us to put on special clothes or go through special rituals to be able to come into His presence.

I often read a book called ‘Blessing Your Spirit” by Arthur Burk and read this wonderful passage the other day:

I bless you with deep heart identity as God’s very own child, securely loved in His family, calling Him ‘Abba, dear Father’. I bless you with the Spirit of sonship that does not make you a slave to fear because you know your Abba is with you. I bless you with the settled assurance that He has a future and a hope for you, that He has written your days in His book with love, for your best interest and His ultimate glory.

In fact, the scripture also says:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” [1Peter 2:9]

So, how do we, as His dear children and also as part of the royal priesthood, bring Him praise and glory?

As Pastor Tim said in that wonderful prayer on Sunday morning [26th April], “… we recognise that You are glorified as others see Your victory demonstrated and Your kingdom rule established.”

We’ve been exhorted to faithfully pray blessings each day for “our world, nation, city, community and family”, and for His river of life to break its banks, that “Your glory Jesus will fill the whole earth.”

So, let’s rise up together, in our security as dearly loved children and also as kingdom priests, clothed with the authority Jesus has given us, to confidently make these proclamations in this unprecedented time and see the kingdom of God extended.

by Ev Cowan Blog #3, 01/05/2020