1 Kings 8:10-11 10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
I love this! Solomon finished building the temple and brings the ark (presence) of the Lord into it. The presence of the Lord descends onto the temple physically in a cloud. It was so thick, they couldn’t have church! Imagine their surprise as they tried to perform the ceremonial duties as required by the Lord. They wanted to make the sacrifices, say the prayers, and read the scriptures. But the presence of the Lord was too thick!
Today, most churches have a plan as to what their Sunday service is going to be like. There is a planned out worship set and a planned out sermon. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that those things are not inspired and anointed by God. Worship and the Word are good things! But what would happen if the presence of God came so strong that it began to mess up the plans? What if His presence was so great, we couldn’t have church?
Would we forge ahead with our structure and plans, or would we allow the presence of God to put us in awe of Him? Sometimes, I think churches administrate God right out of their services. Yet He is what they are supposed to be about. David wrote that better was one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere. And I say that better is one day at church basking in the presence of God than a thousand days at church where He doesn’t show up!
If the church (and the church service) is going to be effective, He needs to show up! This should be our main concern: that the glory of the Lord fills the temple. I love it when God ruins the plan on Sunday mornings. It’s His church, His people, and His plans… not mine. As a pastor, I must keep this perspective. As His people, we must pursue the same in our own lives. Invite His presence to live each day in you. Plan for a cloudy forecast and cancel your religion. It will change everything!