God is calling to us. In light of the tragedies, natural disasters, attacks, etc. that are happening at an alarming rate in the United States, many are wondering what is happening. I have heard some of the questions Americans are asking, and some of the responses. Some say God is out to get us, or God doesn’t care about us, while others say the government is behind it all. So what is really happening? “In second Chronicles, chapter 6, Solomon, son of David, is praying to the Lord on behalf of the nation before dedicating the temple he built in honor of the Lord. He cried out to the Lord in advance to forgive the people if they sinned and turned away from God. In this prayer, he asked God if in the future, the consequence of their sin was that there was no rain (drought), or if there was famine, plague, crop disease, or pestilence, or if they were being besieged in their own towns, or if there was disaster, or if they were defeated by their enemies, to please forgive them if they turned from their sin and back towards God.
Solomon also asked that if God became angry and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land near or far, that while they were in exile, they would turn to Him in repentance and acknowledge their sin. If they repented, he asked that God would forgive them.
After Solomon finished his intercession, fire flashed from Heaven, and the glorious presence of God was in the temple. The people fell to their faces and worshiped God when they saw the fire, and the glory so filled the temple that even the priests couldn’t enter it. The people were filled with joy as they celebrated the dedication and the Festival of Shelters for 7 days. One night, sometime after the celebrations were over, God answered Solomon’s prayer.
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. (2 Chronicles 7:12-16)
Later in the passage, God reminded Solomon of the covenant He had made with his father, David, and then warned Solomon and his descendants of the consequences of turning away from Him (2 Chronicles 7:22). Now that we are in Christ, there is no physical temple. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are supposed to keep it holy, just as God commanded the Israelites to keep Solomon’s Temple holy and consecrated to Him. The same promises and warnings apply to us now.
Let’s look at the similarities between these passages and what is happening today. We are in danger of much worse if we don’t come to the Lord and surrender our hearts. We need to return to Him with no reserve for ourselves or our way. His ways are higher than our ways, and always meant for our benefit.
It is interesting that the fire fell and the holy presence of God filled the temple after Solomon interceded for the people. There have been people interceding for America for a long time, and I believe God is answering these prayers. The fire of His holiness burns up all that is not of Him. We fall on our faces because we see who we are in the light of who He is, and the fear of God comes, leading us into repentance for going our own way. The fire draws us into His presence and sets us on fire for Him, so that we can then carry the fire to those who do not know Him.
People of God, this is a sobering time, and if we continue as we are, worse disasters will befall us, but if we fall on our faces before Him and choose to serve Him, His hand of protection will be on us. God is looking to His people to carry His light like a beacon of hope to the world, but before we can do that, we must be willing vessels. Willing to surrender. Willing to obey. Willing to take up our cross daily. Willing to get outside of ourselves and let Him fill us with joy unspeakable as we fulfill our destiny here on earth.