Manifest Presence

Perhaps one of my earliest and most momentous spiritual revolutions came as I read these words of A.W.Tozer. He compared the true purpose of the Christian life to the experience of a Hebrew priest in the tabernacle. The tabernacle, of course, was God’s chosen location (in the Old Testament) to manifest Himself in palpable, experiential presence. Tozer describes what a worshipping priest would have experienced in that Holy Place:

Though the worshipper had enjoyed so much, still he had not yet entered the Presence of God. Another veil separated him from the Holy of Holies where above the mercy seat dwelt the very God Himself in awful and glorious manifestation. While the tabernacle stood, only the high priest could enter there, and that but once a year, with blood which he offered for his sins and the sins of the people. It was this last veil which was rent when our Lord gave up the ghost on Calvary, and the sacred writer explains that this rending of the veil opened the way for every worshipper in the world to come by the new and living way straight into the divine Presence.
Everything in the New Testament accords with this Old Testament picture. Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies. God wills that we should push on into His Presence and live our whole life there. This is to be known to us in conscious experience. It is more than a doctrine to be held, it is a life to be enjoyed every moment of every day.

–“The Pursuit of God”, AW Tozer

These last words refer to Hebrews 10, where the “sacred writer” invites us — indeed, urges us — to boldly enter into that very Presence — the Manifest Presence of God. What an extraordinary privilege!

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