To have the rings without the overlaying gold is to be poor in gold. It is to have the Triune God as the rings but not as the gold overlaying the boards. To be in such a condition is to be poor in God. We need to learn to confess that we sometimes are poor in God. We may be rich in the self but quite poor in God. Therefore, we need the initial Spirit to spread throughout our being; that is, the initial gold must spread out in order to overlay us. As we grow in the Lord, the Spirit spreads within us and overlays us with Himself.
The gold did not overlay some inferior or corrupt material; it overlaid acacia wood. Although the acacia wood was very good, it was not the purpose of the tabernacle to express the wood. This indicates that God does not want man to be expressed; rather, He wants to see the expression of Himself. God desires for Himself to be expressed upon man. This requires that man be covered with God, even overlaid completely with Him. In our hymnal there is a hymn entitled "Not I but Christ." The chorus goes like this:
Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
Oh, to be lost in Thee,
Oh, that it may be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.
To be lost in the Lord is to be overlaid with Him and to be hidden in Him. When we are concealed within the Lord Himself, He becomes the expression.