2 Chronicles 7:1-3 KJVS
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.  And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.  And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
I cannot imagine the spectacular site this would have been. Can you imagine sitting in a modern day church service where the power of God comes down in the form of fire, strikes the altar and the sparks fly! In this pyrotechnical world where every thing must be bells and whistles to get our attention, I have the feeling that when God does a fireworks display, it’s way more exciting! And for certain nobody is complaining at the end saying… I’ve seen better. Yet that’s what happens in many church services. People show up more concerned about the thermostat than the thermal power possibilities of the Lord. There’s nothing or nobody at the altar for God to send a fire upon.
What will bring the fire down?
When Solomon had made an end of praying the fire came down from heaven. What a prayer that must have been! I heard a preacher once say that most of our failures are prayer failures. Prayer is the conduit for which our relationship with God flows. But prayer for many (or perhaps I’m the only one) that has a prayer life consisting of more “Dear God I’m stupid” prayers than ones that start out with, “Oh, God….”
I’ve had those prayers. But I’m here to confess it’s been a while since God and I have had any conversations that caused me to step away from the altar with singe on my shoulder. A conversation where I was so touched by the moving of the Holy Spirit that I could physically feel His presence, that joy welled up in my soul because I had seen the sparks fly in the form of revival fires and I felt consumed by His love and power. Yes, it’s been too long.
I fully believe that the only way those moments happen is when there are people at the altar, standing there with a sacrificial heart, prepared to do something. Someone who just had a conversation with God that stirred Him when He seen the desire of His child’s heart was to worship and serve. Oh God, how I pray that’s me! Let my relationship be a consistent conversation where I am so focused on your desires that my petty thoughts have been burnt up.
What will bring the Glory of the Lord?
The priests didn’t enter the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the temple. There was nothing in the temple but God. What is in the churches across America this morning? I have a feeling it’s more than God. There are some that I’m not so sure God’s even in them at all. I’m not judging, I’m lining up what scripture says with what I see. If you go back to 2 Chronicles Chapter 6 and you read through Solomon’s prayer, this man who had it all, wisdom, wealth and all the delights of his heart, you will not see those things mentioned. But in four verses I felt that I witnessed some of what brought God’s glory down to that house of God.
2 Chronicles 6:30-33 KJV
Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)  That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.  Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house;  Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
Solomon’s understanding of “Who” God was, his concern for not only Israel but the stranger, the Gentile that would have come into their country to worship “their” God, God honored the heart of Solomon by allowing Solomon and his people to experience His glory. I have to wonder, what would God do if the leadership of our nation, with a pure heart of concern for the people and for the desire to be in the will of God, would pray to God this morning? What would He do in our churches if today His altars were full of people concerned about more than the daily drudgeries of life? I believe we have to start with our own hearts and work our way up. Imagine if one church as a whole got fully committed to serving God and ministering to the people in their community. Then that community got saved and on fire for the Lord and took it to the State Capitol. We look at that as impossible task, but is it?
I know I’m a cockeyed optimist but I believe every word of God from Genesis to Revelation is there to teach us of the extreme possibilities of God. If for nothing else that we never lose sight of the hope of Heaven and how big the God of Heaven is.
Verse 3 of our original text in this post says that when ALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL saw how the fire came down and the glory filled the temple they bowed on their faces and worshipped and praised God. ALL of Israel. What would it look like if ALL the church were at the altar this morning. Not out of obligation, not be cause the Pastor said, “Let’s gather at the altar and pray.” But because the conviction of almighty God drove God’s people there with a burden for our nation and our communities and they started praying as Solomon did in 2 Chronicles 6:4 KJV – Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake…
It was a different day when God spoke to the leadership. He now speaks to the heart of every child of God and we are privileged to be in a place that few were in the days of Solomon. And yet we’re not listening. That’s a really scary statement. We’re not listening to the God of the Universe Who keeps our earth together. I’m pretty sure our nation needs to pray “Dear God I’m stupid…” this morning.
But back to my optimistic ways. It’s Sunday. It’s a new day that we have the opportunity to go to church and worship and pray and meet with God in His house with His people and pray for His glory to come down. Let’s do it!
Love ya all, hope you find your way to church today. – Shari, The Jesus Chick.