The goal of God’s salvation, provision, and revelation as seen in the book of Exodus is His building, the tabernacle; as believers in Christ, we need to go on with the Lord and experience Him as reality of all the furnishings of the tabernacle so that we may be part of His building, His heart’s desire.
The tabernacle in the Old Testament is not just a type that we need to understand and explain but something that we need to experience; we need to take the way of experiencing Christ for God’s building so that God would gain what He is after, His dwelling place.
In Psa. 84 we see a mature seeker who loves the tabernacles of God (a type of the many local churches) and who hides and finds his home at the two altars (a type of the crucified and ascended Christ).
We praise the Lord that, by His mercy and grace, He has brought us into the church life in the Lord’s recovery; here we can eat, drink, and breathe in Jesus, and here we can enjoy Christ and experience Him for God’s building together with all the saints.
Our experience in the church life, however, is not always pleasant or “comfortable”; there’s the aspect of enjoying Christ, and there’s also the aspect of God being faithful to strip away and tear down anything that replaces Christ in our being.
Through such experiences of stripping and dealings we get simplified: we simply love the Lord, give Him the first place, and desire to hide in the crucified Christ, bringing the new ones here at the cross of Christ.
As those who love the house of God, we hide in the cross of Christ and we enter into the Holy of Holies to make our home at the altar of incense, where Christ is our acceptance before God and we can offer Him as our prayers for His move, His satisfaction, and His acceptance.
As we turn to our spirit and enjoy the ascended Christ, we eat Him as the hidden manna and are thus incorporated into the incarnated Triune God, since Christ is in God (the hidden manna is in the golden pot), God is in Christ (the golden pot is in the ark), Christ is in our spirit (the ark is in the Holy of Holies), and our spirit is in Christ (the Holy of Holies is in the tabernacle).
Dwelling in God’s House by Praising Him and Trusting in the Lord
How blessed are those who dwell in God’s house, those who praise the Lord (Psa. 84:4)! In the church life we should praise the Lord! In the tabernacle, in the enjoyment of the incarnated Triune God, we praise the Lord!
When the house of God is in a normal state, all the meetings of the saints are full of praises – even more than prayers. The more we know God, the more we know His ways, the more we can just say, Praise the Lord! Praise You Lord for who You are and for all Your arrangements!
Quite often, however, we lack in praising the Lord; we may pray and ask things from Him, but we don’t praise Him enough. Our personal prayer life and our church life, in all our group meetings and church meetings, should be filled with praises to the Lord!
When we don’t praise the Lord, we are dormant, but when we praise Him, we are being vitalized!
We praise the Lord because we realize that one day in the courts of the Lord is better than a thousand, and we would rather stand at the threshold of the house of our God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (Psa. 84:10, cf. Ezek. 47:3-5; Rev. 20:4-6)!
We should be like the psalmist, desiring to stay in the house of God and enjoy the incarnated God with the saints, rather than doing many other things outside of God’s house.
Even more, we shouldn’t just stay on the threshold of God’s house but enter into the house of God, even enter into the Holy of Holies, in our mingled spirit, to enjoy the Lord, offer Christ as incense to God through our prayer, cooperate with the Lord in prayer for His move, and eat Christ as the hidden manna to be supplied by Him and become part of the tabernacle intrinsically.
In the church life, as we enjoy the Lord with the saints, we treasure the Lord and we love the saints, and we are filled with praises to Him. We need to learn to not murmur, complain, or criticize but just praise the Lord!
We need to get out of our analyzing mind and fickle emotions and just exercise our spirit, touch the Lord, and enjoy the incarnated Triune God, and we will praise Him! In type, the house of God is the church as a totality (1 Tim. 3:15), and the tabernacles are the local churches (Rev. 1:11).
Praising the Lord should be our living, and our church life should be a life of praising (see Psa. 22:3; 50:23; 1 Thes. 5:16-19; Phil. 4:4, 11-13)! In the church life we should trust in God – and not in ourselves or our human ability – to work out a solution to our difficult situations (2 Cor. 1:8-9, 12).
We may have difficult situations in the church life and we may have a tough environment that we live in, but we need to trust in the Lord and praise Him: He will make a way! Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord (Psa. 84:12).
Lord Jesus, we love to dwell in the house of God and to praise You! Praise You Lord for all that You are and for all that You have done! May our church life and personal Christian life be filled with praises to God! Amen! Lord, our trust is in You: we don’t trust in ourselves or our natural human ability to work out a solution, but we trust in You to work out something in our difficult situation! We love You, Lord, we trust in You, we open to You, we love to be in Your house, and we just want to enjoy You with the saints in Your dwelling place, the church!
Blessed is the Man whose Strength is in You, In Whose Heart are the Highways to Zion!
How blessed is the one whose strength is in God, in whose heart are the highways to Zion (Psa. 84:5)! To be on the “highways to Zion” is to intend to come into the church; when our intention is to be in the church life, we are strengthened in God, and we are blessed by God.
The highways to Zion [in verse 5b] are the blessed highways for seeking the incarnated Triune God in His consummations (comprising the washing laver, the showbread table, the lampstand, and the Ark of the Testimony). From our spiritual experiences we have learned that, on the one hand, we have entered into God, but, on the other hand, we are still on the way to enter into God. None of us can say that our entering into God has been completed. For many of us, the entering into God has only begun. We are in God, yet we are still on the highways to enter into God. (Witness Lee)
On the one hand we are IN the church as the house of God, but on the other hand we are still ON the way, and there’s a longing in us to go deeper into the church life, into the reality of the tabernacle, into the incarnated Triune God.
These highways to Zion are in our heart, and we are taking the way of the church life not externally (in teaching, meeting, or other things) but internally, having the highways to Zion in our heart! There’s an intention and desire in our heart to go to Zion, to enter into the church life.
On the one hand, we have entered into God, but on the other, we are still on the highways to enter into God. The highways to Zion in our heart mean that we need to take the way of the church internally, not externally; when we are deeply in the inner life, we will certainly be in the way of the church; the highways to Zion will be within our heart (cf. 1 John 1:3-4).
Our desire is to go deeper into God; we experience Christ as the incarnated and crucified One who takes care of all our problems (at the bronze altar, a type of the cross of Christ), and now we want to enter deeper into God and reach the Holy of Holies, mount Zion, where God Himself is.
Here, in the Holy of Holies, we have Christ as the incense ascending to God for His acceptance of redeemed sinners, and we have a place of rest; here we sense that we are at home.
Our intention in our heart to enter into the church as the house of God is to seek the incarnated Triune God in all that He has done and accomplished, as typified by the furniture in the tabernacle.
On the one hand, we are in God by Christ bringing us into Him, and on the other, we are still on the highways to Zion, still taking the way of the church internally and enjoying Christ until we are fully in God, fully in the Holy of Holies.
This was the aspiration of the seeking psalmist, and this is our aspiration as believers in Christ and loving seekers of God. Amen! Zion is where God is; Zion is the Holy of Holies, and the overcomers become Zion; the Lord’s recovery is to build up Zion (see Rev. 21:16; cf. Exo. 26:2-8; 1 Kings 6:20; cf. Rev. 2:7).
We are today in the church life not merely for the tabernacle of God in general, but for the Lord to gain Zion, His heart’s desire, the high peak, His overcomers! We love the church life because it is here that we are on the highway to Zion, and here we are produced as the overcomers the Lord needs to end this age.
Lord Jesus, we love You! May our heart have highways to Zion, blessed highways for seeking the incarnated Triune God in His consummations so that we may enjoy Him and experience Him for the church! Our desire is to be fully brought into the church life, to be fully brought into God! Amen! Lord, we want to take the way of the church internally, in spirit, and not merely externally. We want to be produced as Your overcomers, Zion, the desire of Your heart! Keep us on the highways to enter into God!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James L. for this week, and Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 32 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 40 / msg. 4, The Three Tabernacles.
- Hymns on this topic:
# How blessed are those men indeed! / Trusting in Thee they are made strong; / Highways to Zion in their hearts, / The way they care not, rough or long. (Hymns #851)
# Lord, once more I’d give myself unto Thee; / Be the grace and willingness in me, / Shine forth light and reality / And on Zion’s highways lead me. (Song on consecration)
# From strength to strength, / We’re on the highways to enter into our God; / Though Satan opposes, / We are strengthened to lay hold of more of God. (Song on entering into God)
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