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Linen and Light

Any maturing believer in Christ Jesus knows that sometimes the joy and wonder of our faith is a spontaneous gift of God and that at other times it has to be pursued with dutiful diligence.  Often, though, we are unsure as to why the experience differs like this.  During those seasons when the wonder of God and the will to do His work come less naturally, are we doing something wrong?  Has sin kept us from a more full experience of our faith, or has God designed the Christian life to be this way? Certainly it seems easy to obey and delight in our God when we wake up in the morning with His glory and His joy flooding our souls.  But on just as many (or usually more) mornings, we wake up without that nuclear plant of godly devotion pumping spiritual energy into our arteries.  God's Word does not make a distinction between these two types of days, however.  We are to delight ourselves in the Lord always (Psalm 37:4).  We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) regardless of what kind of day it is.  We are still to obey all His commands, still to serve the Lord with zeal, and still to rejoice.

In essence, it's as if some days we wake up being Moses and some days we wake up being Aaron.  One day we are the prophet, and one day the priest.

Moses had an enviable position (Numbers 16).  He got called up to the Mountain of God on special occasions when no one else was allowed to touch it.  He got to simply live off the Word of God and nothing else for forty days at a time - twice!  He spoke to God face to face like a man talks with a friend.  He got to stand in the cleft of the rock as God's glory passed by and he even got to see a little bit of it.  And when he came back down from the mountain, his face shone with the reflected glory of God.  I liken this to the days when we wake up with the spontaneous joy and wonder of God.  These are good times.

Aaron, on the other hand, didn't get to talk to God face to face like Moses did.  He wasn't invited to spend forty days feasting on God's Word up in the mountains.  He wasn't standing next to Moses in the cleft of the rock.  I liken Aaron's position to those days when we wake up and have to pursue the joy and wonder of the Lord with blood sweat and tears - days when it does not come naturally.

And yet, Aaron had a form of glory and privilege all his own.  His face might not have shone with beams of light, but he got to get dressed up in special priestly garments that were made "for beauty and glory" (Exodus 28:2).  On his head was a crown that was engraved with the words "Holy to the Lord" (Exodus 39:30).  And when the glory of the Lord descended onto the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35), Moses could no longer get inside while Aaron could (that's what the book of Leviticus is about).

Moses' countenance truly was glorious after he had spent time talking with the Lord, but Aaron's was no less beautiful or glorious.  Moses' glory spoke of Christ's prophetic role in shining the light of God's revelation to His people, but Aaron's glory spoke of Christ's priestly role of atoning for the sins of His people and covering them with His righteousness.  Great and awesome deeds were done in the name of Yahweh by both of these brothers, and it is the same with us, no matter which side of the spiritual bed we wake up on.

Sometimes the joy of the Christian life comes easy and natural and sometimes we have to put it on like a garment.  Today's an Aaron kind of day for me, but I'm going to pursue the wonder and glory of God in His Word, I'm going to fight for holiness, and by God's grace I'm going to please Him with my faithful and zealous service.  Some days we find fruit, but today I'm going to have to farm it.  To God be the glory!