“Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?” — Haggai 2:3
Solomon’s desire was to build a house for the name of the Lord.
Although he knew that the Lord couldn’t be contained within the dimension’s of what was within his heart to build, he wanted to offer something to Him nonetheless.
In other words, Solomon wanted to dedicate the house he was about to construct to the Lord his God.
The temple he built was precise in all of its measurements.
It was ornate with all of its furnishings and materials.
When the time came to bring the ark of the covenant and the holy utensils into the house that Solomon had built, 120 priests began to blow their trumpets in unison with the singers and other instrumentalists.
As this worship erupted, the glory of God filled the temple and no one could stand to minister (see 2 Chronicles 5:11-14).
Similarly, there were 120 disciples gathered in an upper room fervently praying and waiting patiently for the promise of the Father to come to pass (see Acts 1:4-5).
And just like when Solomon prayed and offered the temple to the Lord, I believe these followers of Jesus had completely offered their lives to Him.
When that promise was poured out on the day of Pentecost, the glory of God through the person of the Holy Spirit filled an entirely new temple… the temple of human flesh.
In a surprising turn of events, the glory of God that once filled a temple made with human hands now filled temples He knit together with His own hands.
It was this glory that resulted in countless salvations… was the power behind signs and wonders… that led to a sense of awe among the people… and gave so many the grace to endure persecution.
It was this glory that first began in Jerusalem and later spread to Judea, Samaria, and the remotest places of the earth.
It was this glory that turned the world upside down.
And we need it again…
When the remnant of God’s people returned from their captivity in Babylon, they returned to a temple that laid in ruins.
Because of Israel’s idolatry, the glory that once filled the temple because it was at one time consecrated to God was now a mere memory.
The same could be said today about the glory of the church.
In many respects, it feels like the presence of God that the early church enjoyed is all but gone.
It seems like the baptism of the Spirit we enjoy today pales in comparison to the baptism they experienced.
I believe what made the former glory that filled the temple Solomon built and the former glory that filled the disciples on the day of Pentecost so great can be found in one word.
Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 2:4).
It was as if he was saying, “I did this for You, God. It’s all yours. It’s all I have to offer.”
Likewise, I believe the disciples did the same through the offering of themselves… through the surrender of their will… in their acts of obedience… and while they waited to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.
In other words, they were all in.
They gave all that they had to give.
I believe the infilling they enjoyed was in proportion to their surrender.
I believe their level of dedication determined what they received.
And I believe God is inviting us to do the same… to fully dedicate ourselves to Him… to lay it all down… to ask for His fire to fall on the sacrifice of our lives… to say to Him, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
And it’s accomplished through prayer.
What we dedicate or consecrate to the Lord is fit for His use.
It’s surrendered… fully yielded to Him.
I believe He’s looking for such vessels.
And I still believe that the latter glory of the house is going to be greater than the former glory (see Haggai 2:9).
As we respond to the Lord in this hour through humility and individual and corporate prayer, I believe we will individually be filled with the Spirit in greater measures and I believe that we will corporately experience a greater sense of awe than we’ve ever experienced before.
I believe the glory of God will fill our individual temples and I believe His presence will be among the corporate gathering of believers when they come together (see Ephesians 2:19-21).
Let us reclaim what seems to be lost.
Let’s gather together, be of one mind, and cry out for one thing.
Come, Holy Spirit.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
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