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outside the camp...

“Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Hebrews 13:12-13

As I was reading through Hebrews 13 this morning, I was reminded of something my pastor had spoken of in November about unending praise. This verse particularly stood out to me as before I had sat down to read, I wrote in my journal, which is a habit of mine. It is a journal between God and me about my fears, my failures, my joys, my praises and on this particular morning I was writing about how to find the doors He wants me to walk through and how I was struggling to even be motivated to find that door – which really, I came to the conclusion, the doors are there – it is just about making a choice. As my heart was crying out, I read Hebrews 13…and I came to the verse about going outside the camp. I quickly scuffled through my notes and as I sat reading them from the sermon, I stopped to give praise – praise that God would meet me outside the camp.

You see, in Numbers 5, under the old covenant, Moses was given the directive from the Lord to send away those who had skin disease, bodily discharge, and the dead. They were not to “defile the camp where He was to dwell”. And then with the Israelites, we start to see a glimpse of God outside the camp. The Israelites were forced to wander for 40 years in the desert, being led by a form of God. But the true beauty of the story is when Jesus came to show and do what the Levitical law could never do. He suffered outside the gate, was crucified outside the gate – where we were, where we are, He healed outside the city walls, He came to bear the reproach of our sins – as a sacrifice. Jesus took it upon Himself to make a way for us. He ministered to the sick, to the defiled, raised the dead, healed the bleeding woman – it all parallels Numbers 5 showing salvation is here. My prayer became not of one that asked for guidance or what doors to go through, but one that just gave Him praise for meeting me, the worst sinner of all, outside the camp, so I could meet my Savior. My prayer became one of determination to continue to stay outside the camp, to now bear His reproach, just like he bore mine, to minister to the sick, the lost, walking with Him at His side, as I wait and seek a new camp which is to come – Heaven. I am choosing to walk outside the camp and walk with Jesus…whatever that means…whatever I have to leave behind…at whatever cost. He is my Savior and there is no other.

“…I will save the lame, and gather the outcast, and I will turn their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” Zephaniah 3:19


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