Until Christ Is Formed in You
As followers of Christ, we know that the Word of God is essential to our spiritual growth. We must read it, study it, meditate on it, apply it, and live it.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
But the reason we immerse ourselves in the Scriptures is not merely to gain more knowledge or to form doctrines. Knowledge is very important, of course. But the Bible tells us that God has given prophets, pastors and teachers to minister to us the Word of God “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God … ” (Ephesians 4:13).
The Apostle Paul compared his role in teaching the Scriptures to that of a parent: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
We must keep in mind that knowing about someone is not the same as knowing that person. Doctrines are things we believe about God. We are not simply interested in knowledge or doctrines. We want to know God. We can read the Bible and study about Yeshua (Jesus) and still miss the reality that Yeshua is the resurrection, Yeshua is the life, and Yeshua is the way (John 11:25; 14:6).
We can study our Bibles day and night. We can read about God and His Son around the clock. But at some point, they have to come on the scene if we are to see the promises in the Bible fulfilled. There will never be a fulfillment of prophecy that is not the result of the presence of God—the presence of His Son Yeshua Messiah—coming into our midst on the earth.
At some point, God must introduce Himself into our situation. When His presence is here, we will all know it. When we lay hold of this truth, it will completely wipe away any focus on doctrine.
This is the heart of the Feast of Tabernacles—the feast that celebrates the Lord’s presence on the earth. Traditionally, the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated by building booths (sukkahs) to remind the Jewish people of the forty years in the wilderness, when the Lord camped with Israel (Leviticus 23:39-43). God’s presence was with them by day, and His presence was with them by night (Numbers 14:14).
Every year as we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, we should do it with a deep sense of anticipation that the presence of the Lord will be with us in reality. Every good thing comes from His presence. This needs to be real to us.
We need to have His presence here with us, just as it was with the children of Israel in the wilderness. That is why we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a type of the Kingdom of God, and it reminds us of that time when His presence dwelt with His people. God tabernacled with them, and they had everything they needed. Yes, there were times when they murmured and complained, but remember the fantastic divine order in which they lived. All the families were camped under their father’s banners, and they all dwelt together in peace (Numbers 2:1-2). All of Israel was one large family being fed manna by God and experiencing His presence.
Imagine living with them there at that time. Do you need to pray to the Lord? No, just walk outside your tent and He is right there. Are you questioning whether God is real or not? Just look out your front door. There He is! His presence was visible, real. It provided light by night and shade by day. It provided total immunity from diseases. Nations greater and mightier than they were could not overtake them. They had everything they needed.
We need to hold that picture in our minds. That is our goal, our destination. That is the image we remember during the Feast of Tabernacles. It is the time of His presence. What happened to deliver Israel? God happened. God came down.
This is what our day-to-day experience should be all about: God tabernacling—living with His people. Christ formed in us. That is to become the permanent state of our lives. The fulfillment of the Kingdom of God is the permanence of HIs presence abiding with us, which supplies all of our needs. This is why Yeshua (Jesus) taught us to pray, Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.