Paint swatches, wall paper samples, new drapes, curtains, blinds… have you been there? Have you cut that little 2 inch square of color from the sample of four and taped it to the wall trying to imagine what an entire room would look like in that color? Have you obsessed over the DIY/Home and Garden channels hoping for that one idea that’s going to change your hum-drum home into the palatial estate of your dreams? Do you long for the day that a reality TV designer shows up at your doorstep and says, “I’m here to take over. I’ve got the plans all drawn up for you.”
I hate to admit this but when I venture into the second half of the book of Exodus my eyes usually start to glaze over. Once I can no longer picture Charlton Heston leading those hundreds of actors and extras through the Red Sea I begin to lose interest. But, those last twenty chapters of Exodus are really quite remarkable. We are introduced to God’s flair for interior design. Exact measurements, fabric choice, color schemes, ornamentation, furniture, and decor… every detail is precisely measured out and Moses is given step-by-step instructions as to how to carry out God’s plan. It’s amazing! Who knew?
I recently made my way through those last twenty chapters again. This time instead of glazing over I saw something I hadn’t seen before. God’s desire was to dwell amongst His people. He did that in the garden with Adam and Eve. He walked with them and talked with them. Hundreds of years passed and much had happened in the lives of His people, but His desire to dwell with them hadn’t changed. So He gives Moses His blueprint for the tabernacle as if to say, “I’m here to take over. I’ve got the plans all drawn up for you.” Not only is every detail laid out but every Israelite has something to contribute towards the construction. He gave certain sets of skills to them so that His perfect plan could be accomplished. Together they carried it out. It all worked! God’s “mobile home” was built in partnership with His people and He came and dwelt among them.
This pattern continues throughout scripture. Jesus of course was the ultimate example of God dwelling among us. The name “Immanuel” literally means, “God with us.” When Jesus was still on this earth He made a promise to His disciples and indeed to all of us believers. He promised that when He returned to His Father in heaven He would send His Spirit to dwell not only among us but WITHIN us. That’s right… we have EACH become His tabernacle, His dwelling place. And together, all believers in Jesus Christ across the globe are His Church! He dwells among us in His Church.
So, do you think He might just be saying to you and me, “I’m here to take over. I’ve got the plans all drawn up for you.” And do you also think He has given each of us a certain set of skills to carry out that plan and bring it to completion? ABSOLUTELY!!! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His desire to dwell amongst us has not changed from the beginning. And neither has His provision to equip us. He is with us right now and He wants to use us to draw others into His presence. He has the plan, and He has given us the skill to complete that plan in partnership with Him. Hallelujah!
When I look at our world today there are circumstances that can discourage me. I can get swept up in the global crises and wonder why He hasn’t come back yet. But the truth of the matter is, He has a plan to complete… a plan for me and a plan for this world. If I allow Him to be my Interior Designer He will work in me to bring the plan for my life to completion. By the same token, if we allow Him to be the Interior Designer of His Church each believer can bring the skills He has given us together, and following His direction and blueprint we can play a part in bringing His presence once again into this world.
I believe God is saying to each and every one of us, “I’m here to take over. I’ve got the plans all drawn up for you.” Let Him be your Interior Designer. Let Him use the skills He has given you every day as you follow His direction and “Be the Glove” in the world.
Thank you Lord for your amazing plans and attention to detail. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with You! Thank you for the gifts and skills you have given each of us. May we never waste them. And may You alone be glorified as we make our lives a dwelling place for You so others can meet You through us.