It used to be that the Outer Court of the Tabernacle was a place of sacrifice, where sin was dealt with. It represented our lives when we first came to know Jesus, when we first received the gift of salvation, and when our sin was dealt with. Where Jesus took on our sin and shame and gave us a clean slate, a new beginning. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He paid the price for us.
The Outer Court of the Tabernacle was also the place of cleansing. The laver was where the priests would wash in water after the sacrifice was made. It is symbolic of our baptism. We come to faith in Jesus, who is the sacrifice for our sins, and then we are baptized in water.
But just as the priests did not remain in the Outer Court, just as these things were preparations to move into the Inner Court and then the High Priest into the Holy of Holies, we should not dwell there for too long. God wants us to grow deeper in our faith and deeper in our relationship with him. Just as the priests did not remain in the Outer Court, God does not desire for us to become stagnant in our walk. He yearns for us to grow deeper in our faith and deeper in our relationship with him. Our walk with God must progress from the Outer Court into the Holy Place.
Think of when you begin a relationship with someone. You make it a priority to get to know them better. You talk with them, spend time with them, try to determine their best features and character. When we begin our relationship with God, we need to do the same. Many of us have become so conditioned to religion that we forget that religion, with its ordinances and rites and sacrifices, was what Jesus came to free us from.
Religion, in all its shapes and forms, cannot save you. Only Jesus can do that.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
— 1 Corinthians 9:24–27
I have recently felt so stuck in my walk with him. Yearning to grow deeper, searching for ways to grow, but often finding it difficult to do so. And it took me a while to realize that God is not a God of complication. He makes it super simple for us. There is no need to be afraid about going deeper. You can have the most basic, general understanding. You don’t need some fancy expensive degree to know him. His only desire is that you continue the pursuit to fully know him as deeply as he can be known on this side of heaven. It is all about the desire to have a relationship. The Lord says that our prayers are like incense to his nose, filling it with a sweet scent.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil
— Hebrews 5:14