The picture of the temple grounds of ancient Israel is really the picture of our spiritual journeys. There are some who spend their time as Levitical worker bees, making constant sacrifices for God. Then there are some who spend all their time looking into the water of the Word (the Brazen Laver), increasing their knowledge of the Bible daily. And then there are others who are barely seen anywhere in the courtyard; they're behind the veil in the temple itself. The question is: which one are you?
In the wilderness experience of Israel, there was a pillar of fire that hovered over the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle Tent. This physical manifestation of the Almighty and its location was no accident. The God of Israel was telling His people where He could be found. Although He inhabits the sacrifices of praise from His people and loves the fact that His people look intently into His Word, washing themselves in its power, there is only one place that He can actually be found in true presence. There is only one place where the shekinah glory was found: behind the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. This is where the soul is put aside and the inner spirit of a man enlarges to perfection in the presence of a Holy God.
There are two parts to a man: the spirit man and the soul man. The soul man can work for God, learn about God, dedicate itself to the things of the Lord and submit to the ordinances and commandments of His Word. But that is not the highest form of love. Yes, Scripture says in 1 John that to love God we must keep His commandments. But that's only the outward expression that comes from the intellectual decision of the soul (our mind, will, and emotions). That's like a priest spending all of his time in the outer courts, obeying every command and doing his duty each and every day. Although that may please the Lord, what He's really looking for are those few individuals who understand that the spirit of a man needs to be fed, too, and it can only receive its nourishment behind the veil, in the lap of our heavenly Father. The spirit of a man does not understand work, duty, obedience. It understands one thing: presence.
As believers, we underestimate and misunderstand what really happens when we climb onto the Mercy Seat in quiet solitude and beg for help in the presence of our Lord and King. What our physical senses do not pick up on or experience, our spirit man downloads. The answers and strategies to solve whatever problem we're facing appear as the angels are simultaneously dispatched to our side. You see, the solutions are not in our own understanding or even how much Bible knowledge we acquire. They're behind the veil, within the glory cloud of the Holy Presence Himself. The great men of God throughout time who spoke with unparalleled spiritual authority were not anointed because of their knowledge, degrees, or even articulation. It was because they knew the secret of their Master: solitude behind the veil.
"[T]he Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God." -- A. W. Tozer