Have you ever asked yourself the question “Where is God?”
Recently, Annette and I had the opportunity to visit Israel.
We visited Shiloh and saw where the temple was, where the ark of the covenant (presence of God) was for 369 years.
It’s the temple where Hannah cried out to God for a son and Eli the priest said it would happen, so she promised her son to the Lord. This child was Samuel the prophet.
I brought back a souvenir…..it’s a small stone right from where the presence of God sat!
I wonder what goes through your mind?
Can I touch it?
Does it have power?
Will it bring me good luck?
Hebrews 9:11-15 NLT
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world.
12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity.
14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
We walked the Via Delarosa the walk Jesus did with the Cross on His back. There were 14 significant stops or places where special things happened. For example, where Simon was ordered to carry the cross. But as our tour guide explained, most were inconclusive, for example this is where Jesus fell or where He leaned.
We visited the Holy Sepulchre, the Catholic Church had built over the supposed place of Jesus’ burial. When I walked there I saw the alleged slab of stone Jesus was laid on in the tomb.
People were crying and clambering to touch what Jesus had touched, they were lined up to go into the tomb.
Everyone was seeking a response from God, a sign that God was there, that He would help.
Thousands of people, millions of people a year would visit with the overwhelming desire to connect to God,
But honestly it was sad, they were looking for God in the wrong places, worse they believed there was power in the rocks and the buildings. Don’t get me wrong, walking and standing where God was – was amazing, visiting an historic site where much of its physicality hadn’t changed was an incredible experience.
I would look to the mountains because I knew it’s the very same view Jesus had.
Back to my little rock.
I brought the rock back not for its power, or its prominence or for what it’s been present for.
But as a reminder to you and I, God is not in things, He’s in us! That the world seeks a touchable feelable God, but they are looking to things, religion and traditions.
Our greatest take away thought was:
How great is the clear access we now have to God!
Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.
20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house,
22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
The exclusive, select few, ritualistic pathways of history have been abolished we have everyday access to God’s power, not activated by feelings or being in certain places or touching or being touched by artefacts.
When we seek Him, He can be found, no pilgrimage is needed, no touching of a wall.
We have been given a new covenant!
So, what’s your obstacle?
What’s in your way?
Our problem is not the problem, the limit of our faith is.
I have come home with a passion to lift our faith.
To help each of us access God and His power, to experience the freedom of walking into His presence with all the barriers removed!