Attracting His Presence

We spend a lot of time (especially young single adults) preparing our bodies to attract compliments and relationships. Ladies will shop for clothing, primp and go to extreme measures to feel good about presenting themselves to the public. Social media is filled with opportunities to help people prepare themselves to look and feel good about their appearance. In fact, this industry is a multi-billion dollar industry by itself! Crazy, isn't it.
It's not just the ladies, men will work out, starve themselves, eat grass or some other fad diet to attract others to their suitcase. Diets, workouts, and personal coaches are in high demand because we all want to attract others to like our posts, our personality, or to find that "one" that we can spend the rest of our life with.

What about God?

In 2 Chronicles, chapter seven, we are introduced to a visitation from God. God visits Solomon, David's son because of his ridiculous and extreme efforts to worship God and display the King's devotion to Him. In fact, you can't understand chapter 7 without the context of at least chapter 6.
Solomon was chosen by God to build a temple for Him. It was in his father's heart, David, to do this but God had a plan and assignment for the temple that included Solomon and not David. Solomon took this assignment seriously and it appears that he not only spared no expense in building it but his heart was drawn to God's presence. Although we know Solomon wavered in his devotion as he became an old man, he humbly pursued the God of his father, David.
In his first God-encounter Solomon asked God for wisdom. This prayer revealed where Solomon's devotion and heart were located. Solomon was burdened by the care for people and his devotion to God (shown in His sacrifices). We can learn a lot from Solomon on what it takes to experience, and better yet, attract the presence and glory of heaven in our life. Although everyone tasted it, it was the influence of the King's heart that attracted the glory. Notice what Solomon did...

He exceeded the requirements

Solomon was only required to sacrifice on bull and one ram according the law in Leviticus 23. Yet, we find that when Solomon began to rule he went sacrifice bonkers. Look at chapter one and verse 6 in 2nd Chronicles:
There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.
Now, we read in the next verse, that God appears to Solomon as he laid his head down. It's an unusual visitation because of what God asks the young King...
“What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Pretty crazy question. That's genie in a bottle stuff. Should I choose to be the richest person in the world? Should I ask for absolute power? What should I ask for? This is what is so revealing about the young King. He chose none of the options I've suggested (that would have been normal for a king). Instead, we know he chose wisdom.
As awesome as that story is what we want to recognize in this visitation and the one that would later mark the people at the temple is God's visitation. What attracted God's glory was devotion that manifested in sacrificial worship.
The first visitation followed an extreme sacrificial offering to the Lord with over a thousand offerings. Could he have learned this from his father's extreme worship? Now, in chapter 7 the second visitation of glory followed the lavished spending on the temple, continued personal worship, and dedication prayer. When his prayer of devotion and dedication had ended we are told that God visited in the form of fire! That fire, we are told, burnt up the sacrifices and offerings that were presented to the Lord. Yet, what followed the fire is the subject of our study today. 

Fire and Glory

Not unlike Acts 2, fire fell from heaven. This is the shadow of what happened at Pentecost in Acts. The glory of His presence will always follow His fire. A holy fire prepares the way for His presence. The burning cleanses the area for the King to make His home. God was going to reside in the freshly built temple, but not before He cleansed it. The King had done all he could to make it known that this was a special place. He used bronze, gold and other precious items fit only for a King. Yet, man can't cleanse itself for a holy King. Only a holy visitation can prepare for a Holy King. That's what the holy fire did. It accepted the sacrifice and filled the temple.

The fire is still burning

Today, the fire continues to burn on those that offer themselves before the Lord with crazy offerings. Whole hearted sacrifices in worship are still attracting the fire and glory of God. Disciples who have left the things of this world and offer him a habitation will experience the fire and glory. The followers of Christ who want more than a church service or a social hour will find themselves caught in the holy fire of God and the thick cloud of His glory. Pentecost didn't begin this trend but rather solidified the heart of God. God wants to fall upon His people again. He wants to fill the temple(s) that honor Him with sacrificial lives for the kingdom. Jesus manifested what this would look like during His life on earth. He was a burning light that brought the holy fire and presence of God on the earth. He was the perfect temple of God that manifested relationship to God's people. He was the perfect priest, King, and prophet that walked the earth.
Will you and I understand the principle of fire and glory? Will we offer more? Will we endure the mocking of others and the death of this world to attract the fire and glory? Father, help us to wait until the fire and glory of your presence falls again!

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