God saved us and is constantly saving us so that we may serve Him, and we need to serve Him not according to our own natural concept but according to the vision of God and of the pattern shown on the mountain, the vision of God’s economy.
The experience of the children of Israel in Exodus is a type of our Christian experience today. They were delivered by God from the usurpation of the Egyptians and the tyranny of Pharaoh to go into the wilderness and serve God.
God doesn’t want His people to be usurped by the world with its evil leader; He wants that His people would eat and feast with God and for God, so that they would be strengthened and enable to go out of any usurpation and serve God.
The goal of God’s salvation, however, is not merely that we would be freed from slavery in the world or that we would merely be separated unto God; God wants that we would hold a feast to Him and sacrifice to Him.
On our side, we hold a feast to God by enjoying God and all that He is and has done for us; on God’s side, He desires and requires sacrifices from us, and these sacrifices are a type of Christ – who is our feast and our sacrifice for our mutual enjoyment and satisfaction with God.
What does it mean to hold a feast to God? It is to enjoy God with God and to worship God. Our God doesn’t need people who would bow down to Him and revere Him fearfully outwardly; He wants to come into us and be our life and life supply so that we may enjoy Him, drink Him, eat Him, and thus be satisfied with Him.
The best and highest relationship that man can have with God is to feast to God and with God, and our entire Christian life should be just that: a feast to God and with God. When we wake up in the morning, we need to open to the Lord and take Him in as the manna, then throughout the day we need to feast to Him by eating Him as the tree of life and drinking Him as the flowing water of life.
When we feast to God in such a way by enjoying God, something of the element of God is wrought into us, and we worship God in His dispensing; this is dispensational worship coming out of our enjoyment of God.
Furthermore, today we want to see concerning the purpose of God’s calling: to bring us to His holy mountain where we can serve Him and sacrifice to Him.
God’s Purpose in Calling us is to Bring us to the Mountain to Serve Him and Sacrifice to Him
The purpose of God’s calling of His people Israel was to bring them to the mountain, where they may serve Him and sacrifice to Him (see Exo. 3:1, 12, 18; 19:1-2, 11; 24:16-18). He didn’t want them to merely go a three days journey in the wilderness to serve Him but to go to the holy mountain of God, mount Horeb / mount Sinai, where they would serve God and sacrifice to Him.
The first step is to be delivered from Egypt and enter in the wilderness, and in the wilderness they had to go up to the mountain of God, where they would serve Him.
Moses spent many years around this mountain tending to the sheep of his father-in-law, and it is at this mountain that he was called by God from the midst of the burning thornbush; this is the mountain where God wants His people to serve Him.
As believers in Christ we need to not only be saved, separated unto God, and hold a feast to Him, but we need to be brought up on a mountain where we can receive the revelation concerning God’s purpose.
Just as the children of Israel did, we have spent much time under the tyranny of Satan and in his slavery, so we need to come and be shined on by God to be enlightened and see the revelation concerning God and His purpose.
At the mountain of God the people of Israel received a revelation concerning what God is; the law is not merely commandments but a testimony, definition, description, and explanation of what God is. By the law the people of Israel knew who God is: He is holy, righteous, and loving, and so their living should be characterized by holiness, righteousness, and love.
As believers in Christ, we need to have a revelation of who God is; God is embodied and expressed in Christ, and God expects that we live a life that would match who He is.
First, we need to see a revelation of God on the mountaintop, and then we need to live a life that matches this revelation by allowing Christ to work Himself into us and live in us a life that fulfills God’s purpose.
We need to have a clear sky between us and God so that we may see God and have a vision of His economy; on the mountain of God in our spirit we come to know what is on God’s heart, and we see what God desires to have on earth today (Exo. 24:10; 25:8).
Being saved is not enough and feasting with the Lord is not the end – we need to be enlightened by the Lord through spending much time with Him in His word and in the meetings so that we may see a vision of God and His economy.
When we see a vision of God and His heart’s desire we will realize that God desires to have a people who walk according to His statutes and who build Him a tabernacle so that He may dwell among them.
What God desires today is a building, a dwelling place, and for this we need to come to the mountain of God and see a vision of God and His economy.
Lord Jesus, bring us up on the top of the mountain to be with You under a clear sky so that we may see a vision of who You are and what is the desire of Your heart! Enlighten us and cause us to see the vision of God and of God’s economy so that we may serve You according to that vision. Make Your heart’s desire be our heart’s desire as Your people. Lord, may our living match what You are and what You desire to obtain. Make us the people who match You in every possible way so that we can serve You and build up Your dwelling place!
Serving God according to the Vision of God and the Pattern Shown on the Mountain
God saved us to serve Him; however, we cannot and should not serve Him according to our natural concept or desire – we must serve God according to the vision of God and of the pattern shown on the mountain (see Exo. 24:10-11; 25:9).
We need to see a vision of God in a transparent and clear heaven; it is only when we are in such an atmosphere that we can receive the heavenly vision of the building of God’s dwelling place.
Moses and the elders of Israel went on the mountain and saw the God of Israel, and under His feet there was something like a paved work of sapphire, even like heaven itself for clearness (Exo. 24:10).
It is on the mountain that God’s people can also see the revelation of the desire of God’s heart. Here we see that God wants us to live according to what He is because the desire of His heart is to have a dwelling place on earth. The tabernacle was erected as the temporary fulfillment of this desire. Before the tabernacle was built, a detailed revelation regarding every aspect of it was given to Moses in chapters 25 to 31. The remaining chapters cover the experience of the children of Israel at the mountain and tell of the building of the tabernacle. (Life-study of Exodus, p. 137)
In such an atmosphere of a clear sky between us and the Lord, we can see the vision of God and the pattern of God’s building. We need to put aside anything that usurps us, including our smart phone and other screens that distract us, and we need to spend much time with the Lord to deal with anything that would hinder our relationship with Him so that we may have a clear sky.
Unless we enter into a realm of tranquility and transparency where there’s nothing but us and God, we cannot see the vision of God and the pattern on the mountain. God is not cheap, and the vision of God’s building is not cheap.
We can’t “multitask” between God and other things; God deserves and demands our full attention. It took Moses forty days and forty nights of spending time with God to receive the law (the vision of God) and the pattern of the tabernacle (the vision of God’s building); the pattern and the vision takes time, for God wants to reveal them to us in great detail.
If we really mean business with God to see Him and the vision of His economy, there’s no way around spending and devoting much time with the Lord. We are in a fight for our time: we do have time, but we don’t spend much time with the Lord; therefore, we need to redeem the time, for the days are evil.
We allow too many things to eat up our time and make our days useless in God’s eyes; we need to spend much time personally with the Lord, taking time to be with Him and rejecting any other distractions, opening our window toward heaven to receive a vision of God and of God’s building.
We can serve God and build up the church as His dwelling place only according to the vision of God and of the pattern shown on the mountain. The pattern shown on the mountain is God’s plan; if we don’t understand God’s plan, it will be impossible for us to do God’s work (Eph. 3:4).
Because the church as the mystery of Christ was revealed to the apostles and prophets, the revelation they received is considered the foundation on which the church is built (Eph. 3:4-5; 2:20).
The pattern of the tabernacle and its furnishings is a fully and complete type of both the individual Christ (the Head) and the corporate Christ (the Body of Christ, the church), including many experiences of this Christ for the church life.
For us to serve the Lord we must see the vision and have the pattern, otherwise we serve according to our own natural concept.
Lord Jesus, save us from serving You according to our own natural concept. Bring us on a high mountain where we can see a vision of God and of God’s economy so that we may serve God according to this vision. Lord, we choose to spend time with You again and again, rejecting any distraction and usurpation, so that we may receive a vision of God and the pattern on the mountain. May our serving God be according to the vision of God and according to the pattern He shows us in His economy!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from Life-study of Exodus, msgs. 11-12, 80-81 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 3 / msg. 3, Serving God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Savior, lead me up the mountain, / Where the Lord alone is seen, / Where we hear the voice from heaven, / Where the air is pure and clean. / Lead me higher up the mountain, / Give me fellowship with Thee; / In Thy light I see the fountain, / And the blood it cleanses me. (Hymns #378)
# Oh, may a clear, controlling vision of / The Lord’s economy direct my heart, / And burn in me until my spirit’s wholly set afire! / With spirit strong and active we’ll press on / To consummate God’s goal— / New Jerusalem, Hallelujah! (Song on seeing the vision)
# Lord, I give myself to You again today / I open to You so that You may have a way / To work in me that I / Might serve You my whole life / Lord, I love You alone. (Song on serving the Lord)
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