1 Kings 8 records an historic worship experience. The Ark of the Covenant found its home. Smoke filled the temple. In fact we read this in verses ten and eleven:
When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
The presence of God was so thick that the priests couldn’t perform their service. Have you ever been in a worship service like the one these people experienced? Have you ever been in a worship service where the presence of God was so thick that you threw out the spread sheets, order of worship, the song lists and the music charts?
Often these rare moments happen during times of desperation and chaos- times when it seems like the rug has been pulled out from under us as worshipers. His presence, intense and transforming, catapults us into a deeper trust and realization. We come back to that adage that guides me to this day: “When Jesus is all you have; you realize He’s all you need.”
The grand opening and dedication of the temple reveals just a glimpse of God’s glory. God showed up in a dynamic and visceral way, defying the intellect of holy men. The glory of God invaded a temple made by human hands. It changed the climate. Smoke filled the house of God and the ministers threw in the towel. What need is there of ministers or worship plans when God shows up?
When God shows up, we inevitably realize He is eveything we need.
God’s power revisited the temple years later as a Man hung between heaven and earth for the sins of the world. Holy things happened once again. The veil of the temple that separated a Holy God from sinful man was torn from top to bottom. Graves were opened, the earth quaked and the truth of the gospel spread like wildfire. He is alive and indeed He is ALL to us!
What is even greater news? Bible teaches us that even as we pursue Him, He is on the hunt for us. And when we encounter Him, we are compelled to lay everything else down. This is the radical nature of Christianity. He pursues us and we are at his mercy. His name becomes both our refuge and our battle cry. His holy flame cannot be quenched. His glory dwarfs anything that we could ever orchestrate. It is beyond any formula of success. His saving love is relentless and unstoppable.