Has God ever located you in Scripture?
It happened to me on Saturday evening. I was in the prayer meeting before our church service. I was about to preach on Restoring the Tabernacle of David. And suddenly I had a clear impression that I was like David sacrificing every 6 steps as he brought the Ark back to Jerusalem. As God gave me that revelation it suddenly all became clear to me. My life-season made sense.
Restoring the glory
Let me explain. The Tabernacle of David is a prophetic picture of the New Testament Church (Acts 15:13-18). The central feature of the Tabernacle was that it housed the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was Israel’s national treasure. It was the place where God’s Presence lived. Where the Ark was, God was. And not in some hidden, omniscient way, but in a visible, tangible way. Jews would speak of the shekinah glory of God – the blue flame of God’s Presence that dwelt there.
The Ark had been lost to Israel and then in a supernatural turn of events returned to Israel. But Saul the previous king had neglected it and left it in obscurity on the border of Israel. But David earnestly desired for it to be back in Jerusalem. His passion was to restore the Presence of God to the centre of the nation. And like David I share that passion. To restore the open manifestation of God’s Presence to Berlin and Germany. That’s what church planting is all about – the supremacy of Jesus in the totality of life.
Every 6 steps
The journey of the Ark’s return is fascinating but the part I want to focus on is that David sacrificed a bull and fattened calf every 6 steps of the way!
2 Samuel 6:13
When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken SIX STEPS, he SACRIFICED a BULL and a FATTENED CALF.
From Obed-Edom’s house to Mt. Zion is between 12-15 km making it about 30 000 paces. That means David and the whole nation stopped and sacrificed over 3 500 times! Imagine how David felt as he went through this bloody routine over, and over, and over again. As Rick Joyner says, “From Obed-edom’s house to Mount Zion, the procession left in its wake a trail of blood and guts as far as the eye could see. It was not a pretty picture. No wonder David was dancing with all his might when they finally made it through the gates!”
Dying to our own strength
6 is the number of man and oxen represent our strength. A fattened calf is supposed to be the very best meat. In order to restore the glory David had to completely die to his own strength and give God his best. And he had to do it over and over and over again.
And that’s exactly how I feel. Pursuing a great vision of Germany aflame with the Presence of God and swept up in a great reformation. But feeling the intense pain of sacrificing again and again and again. Feeling like I have given up all my strength and there is nothing left to give.
Church planting is like that. It may look glamorous to others. You may even be considered a hero to some. But you feel the pain of dying every day (1 Cor 15:31). You feel like every 6 steps the whole parade stops and only carries on when there is blood and guts everywhere.
But despite the sheer pain of the story I was hugely encouraged when the Holy Spirit showed me where I was. My pain, frustration, and sacrifice was suddenly put in perspective. Everything we are giving up is not for nothing. It’s not in vain. In some small way it’s paving the way for God’s glory to come back. It’s building a highway for God’s Presence to flood in. For the sake of His glory I am resolved to keep making those sacrifices. Even if it’s every 6 paces.
My head cleared, my spirit was strengthened. It’s what happens when God locates your life in Scripture.
Does this story resonate with you? Where would you say you are in Scripture? Please leave a comment.