My tabernacle experience

I was unsure where to blog in this website as I’m thinking that what I’m sharing includes all 3 categories- my tabernacle experiences over the last fortnight- which has included setting up one at home – but also contributing to the ongoing discussions. What a great resource and encouragement this site is!

A new journey in God began a number of weeks ago for me now and I have struggled to put words on what has happened. Doesn’t that speak of how big and uncontainable God is and the experiences we have with Him? Words aren’t enough.

Busy and Dry
The life giving breath of the Holy Spirit has recently come afresh into my life to awaken me and bring change. Despite seasons gone by of passion for God, my spiritual life has been very sleepy and reeking of apathy for quite some time. I didn’t know how disconnected and distracted from God I had become until He visited with me like He did. My husband and I have experienced much change in the natural realm since we were married 8 years ago. Change including study, moving interstate, two babies, a grieving process and this year in particular, both of us in changeable, demanding work positions while moving into and renovating the current house we are living in. Both of us have also continued in ministry positions at our local church. My busy, tired life was like death and dryness to my heart- its landscape mirroring the drought stricken land here in Australia.

Cleaning Out
My children and I attend a play group with the local mums (mainly church families) once a week. It was in this setting I first met Helen and her son, Joel-Mark, newcomers to our group. I enjoyed talking with Helen over the weeks, but there was something I found very unsettling about this new woman. I felt ‘squirmy’. I didn’t recognise this as God and the only thing I could put it down to was that there was a new mum in mums group and she had an ‘affect’ on me. Determined to understand more about why I felt this way I asked Helen and Joel-Mark to come and visit at my house one morning. The first thing I did as they walked up the stairs to my front door, was point out to them the massive pile of rubbish my husband had been pulling out from under the house- old heating systems, plaster, old toys, dust, rubbish… It was all sitting there at the side of the house and my youngest son had been unwell with terrible coughing at night and tummy problems as a lot of dust had been stirred up. Helen walked in and recognised the music I had playing, naming the singer and telling me that it was prophetic of the work we had been doing in cleaning out the house. As they left, Helen prayed for our family speaking words about the work we were doing in cleaning out the space for God to fill. Like a response, I went into auto mode with my deadened mind and blurted out words in the form of a prayer that felt quite empty. Then something rose up in me and I said “We love You Jesus”. My spirit had prayed it, and my mouth had gone along with it. Helen agreed with the prayer “Yes” and I sensed the Holy Spirit present in a moment. Out on the driveway, saying goodbye, Helen felt to lend me a Misty Ewards CD. I listened to it all afternoon and the music and lyrics were so life giving. I opened myself up to hungering after God again, my spirit inclining toward the warmth of God like a flower does to the sun. That same night, there was a big rain outside and I started to vomit like I never have before. This continued for 3-4 hours every 10 minutes. As I was lying in my bed listening to the rain outside and feeling very unwell, I had the sense that God was doing something big. The next day I woke up as though nothing had happened. I was not sick at all.

Listening to God
Over the next two days I kept playing the Misty Edwards music playing in my home and car and by Saturday night God’s presence was lingering with me. I spent some time reading on the Tabernacle website and my hunger for God increased. Late on Saturday night I tried to get ready to go to bed when I heard God say “There have been seeds that have fallen onto dead soil”. I was leading with the worship team at church the next morning and knew I should get to bed. I climbed in and tried to sleep, but God continued pouring His word into my heart. He showed me other people experiencing His presence again, a great awakening among the people of God. He told me He was coming like the rain and that He would bring the substance of our hearts back to life as the rain does the substance of the earth. I saw a returning to our first love. Jesus!! I saw fresh ears, fresh eyes, fresh hearts feeling alive again to God’s presence, aching to be with Him and to see Him- years of a dormant crop taking affect. I felt God arousing His people to places of faith again: faith in a yet to be seen harvest, a harvest people had given up on. I was up that night until 3am praying and listening to God. I tried to go to sleep only to be awoken by His voice. I mentioned it to my pastor who then released me to share my experience with the church. As I spoke about the rain of God, it rained outside.

That same afternoon I got home from church and I was overcome by an overwhelming desire to clean up. I found myself moving furniture and clearing space. I shuffled, cleaned and prayed while the worship music played. I didn’t know what I was doing until I felt God instructing me to put one half of our lounge room aside for Him- a tabernacle; a dwelling place for His presence. I was raised in and met Jesus in the Catholic Church, and therefore the notion of sacred spaces was familiar to me. It felt very natural to return to my first love in this way. In the Catholic Church a tabernacle is a place where the Eucharist (Jesus manifest in the communion bread) is stored and I remember my dad taking me to mass as a little girl and reminding me to genuflect towards the tabernacle as I entered a church.

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since that day God took up residence here and there has been huge change in my house and in my family and I. God has given me opportunities to pray for people to be healed (perhaps they were always there and I just didn’t recognise them)… and He’s released me to share the hunger He has given me with other people. The biggest change however, is in the way I am with God and what He does with me in that space on my lounge room floor. Prayer and reading the bible has gone from being a chore to a delightful feast, so much so I sometimes choose prayer over food and sleep. His word has been coming alive to me and stories I’ve carried with me since childhood are becoming real and life giving (like the dormant harvest I saw springing forth with the rain of God). I’ve revisited the Old Testament and God’s relationship with His beloved Israel again- as though for the first time. I’m aware of the word in my heart and sensing God’s eye on me as one of His chosen people who He’s longing to be with, like Moses, Jonah, Joseph and David. I feel called and purposeful and approved of. Jesus of the gospels is also captivating me again. That I- in all my uncleanness could minister to Him. That He would enjoy me and what I do to Him. That I could do anything to Him! That He would even notice! The exchange of love I am blessed with in God’s presence is something I can’t begin to describe.

The Flesh
There continue to be busy days in my family life and time with God can get neglected. It’s in those times I realise with despair how quickly and easily I take back control of my life. Just as the housework piles up, so too does the house work in my heart. How quickly the filth of the flesh builds. The dirty washing, dishes, thoughts… I can see why Paul needed to “pray without ceasing”. On one occasion soon after my God encounter begun, I realised just how little space there was for this big God in my full life. He has a lot of work to do in my unclean heart and that takes time. I felt a free falling sensation and a bit out of control. Gripping at the sides I attempted to plan how I might return to normality and structure- how I might fit God in. It was like a default mechanism I returned to after years of bad habits, but all the while God was gracious and every few nights I would rise in the dark and spend intimate hours with Him, usually in the book of Psalms.

Even when I wander He gently pursues me and draws me back in toward Himself and all I can do is lay there allowing Him to. This week has been interesting as just when I don’t think I can hold anymore in, He ushers me in again revealing another layer of His grace and glory until there’s no more room and I have to shed layers of myself just to be. One morning I woke up early with Psalm 63 on my heart where it says “…Your love is better than life” and the Holy Spirit resounding in me “Do you really believe that? What then are you willing to sacrifice in response to this- if that’s true?” Later that day, I was ministered to by Misty Edwards singing “Letting go of the mountain view, letting go- but what into?” and I felt like Mary pondering all these things in my heart, wondering what all this means and where it’s all going. What would it be like for me to live as the Israelites and not move until that cloud moved and not stop until that cloud stopped? The relinquishing of my self and my life as it was, to be with Him.

3 Responses to “My tabernacle experience”

  1. Steve Says:

    Im a big fan of Misty Edwards lyrics in fact i created my website just to display as many of her beautiful song lyrics as i can find. Its not just her lyrics though, its the manner in which she delivers them, there is something very special about misty.

  2. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  3. KrisBelucci Says:

    da best. Keep it going! Thank you

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