When Solomon was finished building his extraordinary temple for God, he called up all the heads of all the tribes and all the leaders of Israel and blessed them. Then the priests took the ark and all the implements from the Tent of Meeting in the old City of David and carried them to the new temple with great pomp and ceremony. It was a spectacular event to witness the opening of the house of God. So many animals were sacrificed that they quit counting. The priests placed the ark between the cherubim that had been made to stand over it with their wings extended in covering. “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord so that the priests could not stand there to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. ” (1 Kings 8:10-11)
We do not hear of the glory of God filling the temple like that again. It was, of course, an unprecedented occasion, but it is one that I wish to have been part of. I have been in small prayer groups of three or four people and felt the presence of God clearly. Many times in church, when worship seems especially sweet, I have felt His heavy presence. But I always wonder if there could be a time when God would again pour His glory into a place so much that it would literally drive people out. What would that be like? I want to feel it, but I think it would feel like dying to be in such close proximity to that glory.
I look around in church sometimes and wonder what is happening in the hearts of others. I see them checking their phones, staring out the window, whispering to someone, and I wonder if they can feel God moving. In small groups, it’s easier for every person to be engaged in worship, but the larger the group gets, it’s more likely that some portion of them will not engage. I’ve always believed that if every single person would enter into worship with a heart of passion, if the entire congregation was truly unified in worshiping God at the same time, He could not help but answer with some demonstration of His glory like He did in the temple. We should not seek after signs and wonders, we should seek God with all our hearts, but if He should find us fully united in praise, I hope to see His glory fall.