“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” —2 Chronicles 5:13-14 NIV
What an awesome, if not terrifying, sight that must have been, to see the glory of the Lord filling the temple! Had I been in that congregation, I suspect my knees would have buckled and my face would have been firmly planted on the floor.
A powerful lesson is tucked, half-hidden in these verses. It wasn’t during prayer or sermon that the glory of God fell in that place, but during worship. When they shifted the focus of their attention from their needs and themselves to acknowledge the Lord and His goodness, those in attendance encountered the glory of God.
Worship is more than an action and an attitude. Worship is a place of meeting and an invitation to exchange. It not only draws us to enter in and offer praise, but it invites the enthronement of God, who offers peace (Ps 16:11) and the strength of His joy (Neh 8:10) in return.
Psalm 100:4 not only gives us the actual path worshipers of old would have traveled in entering the temple to worship but the same spiritual path we take today to come before Him.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4 NIV
Nothing escapes the Lord’s attention. Along with every word of thanksgiving, praise, or worship offered, He also hears our grumbling and complaints.
Our words are powerful things. They can invite the glory of God as we worship, or the displeasure of God in our grumbling (Num 11:1).
There is no grumbling gate by which to enter His peace. No amount of grumbling can ever lead to joy. Lord, help us to enter Your gate with thanksgiving!
Father, we thank You that by the blood of Jesus we are welcome before You, and that Your love for us does not change based on our behavior.
Do a transforming work within us, that we will offer humble petitions with thankfulness and faith that lead to joy. Thank you that Your love for us is consistent, even when we complain. But mature us, so we will leave behind grumbling prayers that lead to unhappiness, and instead choose worship that invites Your peace and glory.
May our many blessings make us grateful instead of spoiled.
Lord, we turn to You. Open our eyes to see You and our blessings, so we can thank You for each and every one. We invite Your presence with grateful hearts. Lord, You are good; Your love endures forever! In Jesus’ Name
Written by Julie Souza Bradley Lilly
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Featured Image by Amaury Gutierrez