Abide: transitive verb (an object receives the action)
1) To wait for (await)
2) To endure without yielding (withstand)/to bear patiently (tolerate)
3) To accept without objection
Joshua would not depart from the tent. Joshua waited for God. He wanted to be the last one to be with God after Moses left and the first one there when God came again. He wanted to be there to see God, to learn from God, to be with God, to wait on God. And not just wait like a waiting room, Joshua was a helper to Moses as well so he was waiting like a waiter on God.
God has no longer confined himself to manifest only in the tent of meeting or inner courts of the tabernacle. The veil was torn (Matthew 27:51) and He has come to live in each of us (Romans 8:9, Colossians 3:16)! He manifests himself in our hearts, our souls, our minds, our actions, our words, our everything.
And yet…we leave him in this building. We become like Moses “Op, God lifted his presence from the church building. Time to go. Come on, let’s go impatiently wait at a restaurant for food or gossip at work all next week. We could complain about everything on top of that too! Op! Got another church service – yay Jesus! You are so good!” Then you leave again and hit repeat.
I’m not saying Moses didn’t have a relationship with God outside of the tent of meeting, he had to have because it says that God talked with Moses face to face like He would a friend!
Now we all have this – there are some people where we see them at one place and that is all your relationship is that one place (that would be the people who would only come to God when He manifested at the tent of meeting). These are the people you know but you don’t tell your intimate secrets or problems to.
Then we have the next set where we know them from more than one place and we share a little more information with but we still don’t share everything with them. These would be like the priests who would attend the tent but were not permitted to see God’s face or talk with God as Moses did.
Then you have the true friends, the one you go to (after God) with your problems. You feel comfortable telling them the struggles you have because you know they will be there for you. They are good at listening and remembering the things you tell them. This is where Moses and God were – God trusted Moses to talk to him in this face-to-face manner.
And that is what Joshua wanted! To see God’s glory and be in His presence, to talk with Him as a friend, as Moses did and so he did the best thing he could and that is wait outside the tent. Hoping God would meet him. Why else would he be at the tent?
Now if you have been hoping that you would have that awesome face to face relationship with God and you’ve been waiting outside the tent – you’ve been going to service after service, reading your Word more, “doing everything right” and you still haven’t seen God or had a fresh experience from God then maybe it is time to stop waiting outside the tent and go inside where God’s amazing presence can be found.
I was going through this very thing year Christmas/New Years time and I was saying how I wanted to really learn to abide in Christ and I kept hoping and praying it would happen but I wasn’t changing my daily life. I’ve always prayed that I would be this “awesome woman of God” and whenever I thought about it, I desired it so much but I didn’t change a thing! I had to change – double my efforts if I was going to achieve this. No this isn’t work based relationship but it is the application of “if what you’re doing right now is good enough for revival it would be here and stay.” It was a fight for every inch of ground and there were times that I didn’t move forward but I didn’t move backward.
But you have to keep fighting for that relationship if you really want it.