'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves.' 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Can you imagine God's presence being so real in a Sunday morning service that the pastor doesn't get to preach, the choir and special singers don't get to perform and the deacons can't attend to their duties? It happened in Solomon's temple.
Observe the elements at work in church that day: (1) They confessed their sins. John Owen said, 'He that hath slight thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God.' Things that trouble you nowhere else will trouble you profoundly in the presence of God. What kinds of things? Politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, reputation without character, and knowledge without conviction. (2) They humbled themselves. The Bible says, 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' (James 4:6 NKJV). Humility means saying, 'Lord, I don't have a thing You didn't give me. And everything I'll ever need comes from You.' (3) They prayed; not formal, poetic prayers, but heartfelt prayers of repentance. Here's how God responded: 'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place' (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV). (4) They gave sacrificially. The people brought 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, the largest sacrifice recorded in the Bible. When you open your hand to lift the name of God up, He opens His hand to lift you up. But here's the thing: God has a bigger hand!
SoulFood: 1 Chron 23:21 - 26:19; Luke 13:18-35; Ps 119:57-64; Pro 21:7-9