When God occupies a place, His glory is unmistakably evident!
When Solomon had finished praying,
fire came down from heaven and consumed
the burnt offering and the sacrifices;
and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
– 2 Chronicles 7:1
The glory of the Lord is His presence. When God occupies a place, His glory is unmistakably evident! God has high standards for where He will make His presence known. He does not respond to our whims or come on our terms.
Solomon longed for God’s presence to be obvious in the temple that he had painstakingly built for Him. Solomon had spared no expense or effort in building this magnificent temple as a house for the Lord. Yet he understood that constructing a spectacular building was no guarantee that God would choose to inhabit that place. So Solomon prepared himself and the people in the hope that God would look upon them with favor.
The priestly choir sang and played instruments in reverent praise to God (2 Chron. 5:11–14). The priests sacrificed so many animals on the altar that they could not count them (2 Chron. 5:6). Solomon prayed, and when he finished, fire came down from heaven and consumed their offering. The glory of the Lord filled the temple! God’s glory was so overpowering in Solomon’s temple that the priests could not carry on their normal activities (2 Chron. 7:2).
There is no mistaking when God inhabits a place. God’s glorious presence fills a place, and it is impossible to carry on business as usual! The New Testament teaches that our lives are temples because Christ abides in us (1 Cor. 3:16). We cannot assume by this that our lives are pleasing to Him. Like Solomon, we must thoroughly prepare ourselves so that God will choose to reveal His presence in our lives. When He does, there will be no doubt that it is God!
Excerpt republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.