David was a man after God’s own heart, and he longed to build a temple to encourage the worship of the Lord. He was very aware that God needed not a house. He was also aware that God could never be confined to any particular structure. However, all that being understood, how he desired to build a sacred palace where the King of Kings could be honored and adored. Oh, how he desired to build a house of worship where the glory of the Lord could freshly shine upon the elect worshipers of God.
Despite his affection and ambition, the Lord forbade him to construct such a house. He would be given the blueprints. He would also be fantastically enriched and privileged to steward the Lord’s wealth, gather materials, and fund the the future construction of the temple. However, he would not be the one called of God to see the sacred palace brought to completion. This responsibility and honor would be granted to his son Solomon.
Therefore, in the course of time, Solomon developed an identical passion for God’s holy temple. Faithfully, he stewarded well his father’s wealth and added his own to the mix. Then, following the blueprints of the Heavenly Architect, he secured the best craftsmen and laborers and oversaw the work of building God’s house of worship.
Many years later, the temple being completed, it was time to worship. Priests and elders led the way in assembling a large congregation. It was an extravagant day of pomp and ceremony as the articles of God were honorably paraded into the temple. There was not a simple offering collected. No, leaders from Israel’s tribes showed up and sought to outdo one another as they presented expensive, over-the-top offerings and sacrifices to the Lord. So much radical thanksgiving abounded that the church accountants lost count. This was much more than strict storehouse tithing. And throughout the day, the house of the Lord was filled with scripture reading, multifaceted prayer, and majestic song. It was a feast day. It was a fun day. It must have been a fantastically moving experience as sinful but saved worshipers of God enjoyed and glorified him.
However, despite the grandeur of the day, all this worship activity was dwarfed by what happened next. At some time, God graciously and sensationally moved-in; he blessed his people with his holy spiritual presence:
“… a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” (1 Kings 8:10-11)
The glory of the Lord filled the house in an experiential and sensational way. God’s cloud of glory moved in, and the priests fell down. What a gracious display of love as God’s Spirit fell fresh on God’s friends. How transformed must they have been who engaged in God’s worship in God’s house on that particular day.
Friends, call me an enthusiastic charismatic if you like, but I long for such a gracious, unexpected, abnormal, and sensational moving of the Lord.
I desire such in my personal life. I am too often too cold. My spiritual passion is weak and apathetic. I have not the love and exuberance for God that I ought. A special touch of God’s Spirit is needed in my soul. Truth be known, I need a personal revival in my numbed heart.
Additionally, I desire such in the local church in which I serve. No, I am not satisfied with what I see the Lord doing. No, I am not interested in more of the same. No, I do not cherish simple, normal, everyday, comfortable and cautious worship where everything goes according to plan. Truth be known, I long and pray for corporate revival in my congregational family.
So, would you participate in prayer for me and my church? I will pray for you and yours. Let’s pray that we would be …
- Recipients of God’s grace and not that which we deserve
- More hungry for God’s spiritual power and fruit
- More dwarfed by God’s radiant presence
- More hateful of sin and more quick to drop to our knees in repentance
- More humble as we look at ourselves
- More fervent in our love of the the Lord
- More happy, joyful, and celebratory over God’s mercy and grace
- More deeply in love with those in the household of faith
- More passionately weeping for those about us who are lost
- More bold and radical in our ministry endeavors
- More focused on the Spirit and less dependent upon our leaders
- More quickly and deeply transformed by God’s Word
- More gregarious, convincing, and believable in our worship
- More serious about our covenantal discipleship
- More hungry for the Lord’s sacraments
- More fervent and more successful in our prayer
- More eager for the next Lord’s Day service
- More radically generous in our stewardship of resources, gifts, and time
Oh friends, I’m glad the Holy Spirit is omnipresent and everywhere found.
And yes, I’m glad the Holy Spirit dwells within me every single day.
And yes, I’m glad the Holy Spirit is found wherever two or three are gathered.
And yes, I’m glad the Holy Spirit is always found in and around his worship services.
And yes, I’m glad the Holy Spirit works in normal ways around and through the normal means of grace.
And no, I am not in favor of “whooping up” our emotions and then confusing such man-inspired sensationalism with the fresh falling of the Holy Spirit.
However friends, I can’t change my desires, and I want more of God’s presence and power! I lust for such and am a bit weary of my normalcy. Therefore, I’ll take a fresh charismatic falling of the Lord’s Spirit. It will be just fine with me if a cloud fills the house of the Lord so that I cannot stand to minister because of the cloud. It will be just fine for me if the glory of the Lord fills the house of the Lord. I’ll be OK and even improved by such charismatic communion with my Christ.