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Wait for the Lord's timing. We cannot rush into the holy place and expect an instant anointing to be given to us on our terms. The golden altar of incense must not be disregarded. As an intercessor, it is essential that you understand its power.
Each ingredient in the holy incense undergoes a specific process before it is ready to be added to the mixture. Our praise, worship and everything we are must be given to God for His glory only.
So I say to you, wait on the Lord. Every believer has been called to pray according to what Jesus taught in Luke 18:1-8. However, you must come to another level of maturity in God before you can enter the realm of effectual intercessory prayer.
Think about Moses' walk with the Lord and how God prepared his spirit to lead a nation. God told Miriam and Aaron: "[Moses] is entrusted and faithful in all My house. With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord" (Num. 12:7-8).
Continual sacrifice and brokenness are required to reach the depth of relationship and communication with God that Moses enjoyed. Though God desires this level of relationship for everybody, you must wait until He qualifies you to be there, or you will be swallowed up and utterly destroyed by the workings of the flesh.
We must be careful that we do not mishandle the golden altar of incense, because it stands directly in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Unlike the brazen altar, which deals with your flesh, the golden altar deals with your faith. It is your passageway behind the veil into the holy of holies.
Clothe yourself in righteousness. When Aaron, the high priest, was adorned in all of his priestly garments to enter the holy place, he was wearing his tunic and breeches, which represented righteousness. Only he could enter the most holy place.
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, Aaron was required to undergo the process of purification a second time, including taking off all his normal priestly garments and putting on the most holy linen tunic and undergarments, before he could enter behind the veil (see Lev. 16: 24).
As high priest, if Aaron hadn't faithfully maintained all of his garments with righteousness as his foundation, he would have disqualified himself from entering the divine presence. When we are preparing to enter the divine presence of God, the thing that is required above everything else is that we are wearing the tunic of righteousness.
Aaron dethroned himself of his usual priestly garments, and he went into the most holy place wearing his most holy garments. If we want to enter behind the veil, we must dethrone ourselves of everything we do in the service of the Lord.
We must remember as we go into the divine presence of the Lord that we can only enter this place through the finished works of Jesus Christ. Nothing we have done in service to the Lord qualifies us to enter behind the veil—only what Christ has done on our behalf.
The Veil Has Been Opened
When Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross, that veil was torn from top to bottom. Now we can stand before the most holy place as priests unto God, offering up the sweet, pure and holy incense of our worship.
The blood of Jesus has made atonement on our behalf. When the Father looks at you, and you are living right according to the finished works of His Son, it is like He is looking at Jesus. You and I should have been cut off long before because of sin and iniquity, but the blood covers us so we can give prayers, intercession and worship to God.
As long as Christ lives in you, whatever the devil sends your direction cannot wipe you out. Christ is ever living in your heart and making intercession (standing in the gap) for you (see Heb. 7:25). That's why your troubles have not been able to break you or silence your praise.
You can never ignore the priceless sacrifice that clothes you in righteousness. Because of what Jesus has done, when your flesh is weak, you are strong (see 2 Cor. 12:9).
As you prepare to go into the most holy place behind the veil, you know He's alive! When you lie at His feet in prayer and intercession, you know He's the only one who can keep you. When the devil tries to tell you that you're not going to make it, Jesus is able to keep you alive and take you to your next level.
Hebrews 6:17-20 says that we have a hope that will take us far beyond the outer court and the holy place into the holy of holies. As a priest and intercessor, you can go into God's presence, already knowing what He is able to do.
You can go behind the veil knowing that He is the ultimate answer for those who are locked in the outer court and can't find their way into His divine presence. Your intercession can liberate those who are held in shackles and chains by the enemy when you enter the most holy place—the highest dimension of prayer—and commune with God face-to-face.
Juanita Bynum is the author of The Threshing Floor, from which this article is adapted. Published by Charisma House.
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