“‘How much less this temple I have built...’ The LORD said… ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and heart will always be there.’” 1 Kings 9:3.
If you want to read one of the most beautiful prayers you must read Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication in 1 Kings 9. This is the prayer he raised to God before all of the people at the dedication of the temple. He acknowledged the vastness and omnipresence of God whom he considered deserved much more than the workmanship of the temple. The emotions that must have filled his heart that day as he stood before the fulfillment of a promise made to David, his father. Did the tears stream down his cheeks as the humility in his heart became too much to contain? Did he struggle to choke out the words as he stood upon God’s foundation, previously being only a vacant and empty lot?
A vacant and empty lot… a temple that he had built… these are haunting words for a heart that used to be more concerned with flesh than spirit. Seven years ago I turned my face to Jesus and asked Him to take up residence in my heart. My heart became hungry for spiritual growth and purpose. God heard my plea and He began displacing things of the flesh and rearranging things of the Spirit. We still have a lot of work to accomplish in this total renovation. He replaced the shingle I had hung that said ‘Brenda’ with a shingle that says ‘Redeemer.’ He promised me that His presence would remain there forever, as He promised Solomon, and as He promises you. He promises His eyes will be with us eternally to reveal His spiritual wisdom. His heart will never leave us, allowing us to tap into His compassion, His mercy, and His love.
Every one of us has built temples in our heart and has determined what will be allowed to reside. Christ wants to come in and cleanse us of the messes which we have made and build on the emptiness and vacancies in our heart. I love the message of this passage as it echoes the voice of eternity. It is full of promises that have no end and blessings that overflow. The more consecrated our temples become the more we long to be with Him. I believe that this transformational journey ends with an Eccl 3:11 destination: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.’
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