Following the Pattern

Exodus 25:40
And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

It’s difficult to build something without some kind of design or plan to follow.  Building a house requires extensive designing and planning before the first board can go up.  Someone who sews will use a pattern to get the correct size and shape for what they are making.  In the same way, God gave Moses a pattern to follow when building the tabernacle.  He told him exactly which materials to use and what size everything should be.  He told him how to put it together.  And the end result would be a glorious tabernacle where God would dwell among His people.

God also gives us a pattern to follow in our lives.  Jesus is our great example of how we should live our lives—the kinds of attitudes we should have, the kinds of things we should do.  He showed us how to pray, how to minister, how to follow God in humble obedience.  He lived a life on Earth, and we can follow His pattern.  And if we do, our lives will mirror Jesus’ life in our thoughts, words and actions.  And hopefully by the end of our lives, we will come out looking a lot like Jesus.

Just as God gave detailed instructions for building the tabernacle, he gives us instruction and guidance on how He wants us to build our lives.  The Bible is our instruction book.  It lays out all the steps we need to take in order to build ourselves into living tabernacles for God.  There are things we should include when building our lives, like love, patience, humility.  There are also things to be excluded, such as sins like pride and selfishness.  If we use the right parts and put them together the right way, we can end up with a God-honoring life to present to our precious Father.

It was important for the Israelites to follow God’s instructions when building the tabernacle.  There was a purpose behind every part that was used and a purpose to the design.  In our lives, it is important for us to do things God’s way.  When He asks us to do something, we can’t run off and try to figure it out on our own or insist that our way will work just as well.  God has infinite wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and a perfect plan that He is working out.  Our part in that plan needs to follow God’s pattern so that everything turns out how He wants it to.

It’s much easier to cut out a precise design when there is a pattern to follow.  If we try to freehand our lives apart from God’s pattern we’ll end up with something completely different than what He had intended.  So let’s utilize the pattern that God has given us to follow by keeping Jesus as our focus and building our lives up on the sure foundation of His instructions.

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