“...the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
This morning as I was reading in 2 Chronicles I was taken aback by the verse above. I wonder what the cloud looked like and felt like – one that was so consuming that the priests had to stop their ministering because it so filled the house of the Lord. I have to think it must have been an awesome sight that left the entire congregation gathered around in a since of utter awe of the Almighty God.
The Lord showing Himself as an all consuming cloud as not a new event since He did this many times with Moses and the Israelite people during their time of exodus, but it had been a long time since God had revealed Himself this way.
In the Old Testament times, God filled certain places at certain times and certain people at certain times to make His ways and His decrees known to His people. But, when Jesus came He showed us a new way that God was desiring to fill the world with His presence.
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit...” Luke 4:1
And, when Jesus' time was fulfilled, His disciples then were the first to show the rest of the world what the filling of the Lord would look like as God's presence spread though every person who called upon the name of Jesus.
“And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language...So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'Whatever could this mean?' Others mocking said, 'They are full of new wine.' But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you...this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.'” Acts 2:5-6, 12-21
The Holy Spirit, who is a gift to every person who believes, is the filling presence of God in each believer's life. And, it is through each and every one who believes that God spreads His cloud of presence throughout the world – one life at a time.
“...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
What a wonderful testimony we have as as Christians to fill empty spaces with the presence of God. It should be our prayer as believers that our presence, filled with the gift of the Spirit, would be so consuming that we would not be able to minister anymore but rather just stand back in awe of the Lord and the ways He was showing Himself through us. I would think that if each of us allowed God His way in our lives that we would see a world filled with His glory and all that the watching congregation of observers would be able to do is stand back in awe and praise the mighty name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
“And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.” Psalm 72:19