1 Chronicles 7:1 – “Now 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 house.”
God’s presence is with His children at all times. But sometimes He makes His presence known in glorious ways. More often than not this show of His glory and power follows some preparation. Today, as always, this preparation is usually prayer!
Recently our family spent a pleasant evening attending an enjoyable event. We gathered with the agricultural community of our area at Cedarville University’s “Farmer’s Night.” After a delicious dinner we attended a bluegrass concert presented by Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers. What a joy! Our stomachs, ears, and hearts rejoiced with all the evening held.
Attending an event like this one feels so effortless. You show up! You enjoy! You leave full! But countless preparation filled the weeks, days, and hours before the event. A large crew of people (including our own Aunt Julie) drafted checklists, made calls, chose menus, prepared food, gathered decorations, practiced music, and completed numerous other jobs before we could enjoy the evening. The night’s successes were a direct result of the intensive preparation for it.
David, the king of Israel, deeply desired that his nation experience God’s presence. For years Israel had been away from God under the leadership of King Saul, and David wanted this terrible mistake rectified. He had brought the Ark of the Covenant, God’s special dwelling place since the time of Moses, back into the center of his kingdom. Now He wanted to do more. He desperately desired to build a beautiful house in which to worship the Almighty God.
God understood David’s heart but instructed that the king would not be the one to build the temple. Solomon, David’s son, would have this privilege. David, though disappointed, determined to make all the preparations he could to see this project through. He recognized that Solomon was young and inexperienced, not only in construction projects, but also in his relationship with the Lord. So he spent the remaining years of his life gathering the supplies, and training his son to complete the task.
1 Chronicles 22:5 “’My son Solomon is young and inexperienced and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore now I will make preparation for it.’ So David made ample preparations before his death.”
Many years later the fabulous temple was finished. Solomon dedicated the magnificent building to God with a beautiful prayer of praise, thanksgiving, and commitment. When Solomon finished praying, a great fire came down from the heavens and consumed all of the sacrifices that had been made that day. God’s glory filled the house so powerfully that even the priests could not enter. Everyone bowed to the ground and worshipped their good and loving God.
Did God randomly decide to show up on this memorable day? I would suggest not! Preparation for this mighty show of His presence and power began years before as King David poured out his heart in prayerful desire, gave of his resources to supply the materials, shared his wisdom, and displayed his example of dedication to the one true God. Solomon took up the torch, built the temple, and dedicated it with all the people present. God honored this and showed up mightily!
Do you want to experience God’s presence in your life and in the lives of those around you? Then you must do some preparation. Farmer’s Night didn’t happen without preparation! The temple wasn’t built without preparation! And God’s presence wasn’t experienced without preparation!
Seek God passionately through prayer. Obey His every command. And wait patiently. He will show up and every fiber of your being will rejoice! Just wait and see! — Love, Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.