Once again I have set myself the goal of reading through the Bible this year. I am currently plowing through the pages of Exodus where God gives Moses page after page of precise instructions on how things were to be done. Details for the "veil" the "screen", the "altar", the "court", "Aaron's garments", and so on; verse after verse, chapter after chapter...
Listen to this example: "you shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long and one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high...overlay it with pure gold...make a gold border around it...make a rim of a handbreadth around it...make a gold border for the rim...make four gold rings for it...put rings on the four corners...the rings shall be close to the rim as holders for the poles...the poles..." --and all that's just for a TABLE!
What do the rest of us get today from our Lord? Just a great big broad, GO MAKE DISCIPLES OF THE NATIONS...I WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS... Huh? Where are all the details, the precise instructions, the "how to" manual?
To be given such a huge task with so little to go on...it just isn't fair! Who does God think we are anyway? Super Saints? If we are expected to reach the nations, where are the pages and pages of instructions and details like Moses got back in the Old Testament days?
Yet Jesus felt what He gave us was enough, "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the HELPER shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you...But when HE, the Spirit of truth, comes, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL THE TRUTH...He will speak; and He will disclose to you..."(John 16)
Our problem? We aren't "hearing Him." The Spirit is alive within us, wanting to fulfill the purposes of Jesus through our lives, but is hindered by our deafness to his still small voice. We understand so little about the Spirit filled life. A life that is truly dead to self, and alive to Christ--what it means to "walk in the Spirit".
Where are those that follow the Spirit as He leads, guides, directs, maneuvers circumstances, instructs, and reveals? I dare say, those who "hear" are the ones turning their worlds upside down for the Glory of God!
Jesus has given us the Spirit to do exactly what the Law of Moses did for the Israelites--to guide us, step by step, day after day to fulfill His purposes in today's world. We have been given the Spirit and the Word. Together, both are fully adequate for discerning the will of God in all aspects of our daily life and in the fulfillment of His Kingdom's work.
The Spirit not only has at His disposal a few chapters of Moses Law, but an entire library of 66 BOOKS to draw from in clarifying His will for us as we face today's tasks and challenges. It's not fair to the Kingdom that our ears stay so stopped up and that we are so distracted by so many things that really don't matter.
Do I want God's detailed instructions on how to build a table, or do I want His guidance on how to go about starting 100 churches this year? I think He has entrusted us with something far greater today. I'll take the Spirit with all His power anyday over the Law with its details for Aaron's garments!
The old hymn says, "All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One come down..."