Devotions

All That Really Matters

December 20, 2019
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“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.” 1 Kings 8:10-11 (NIV)
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I’m not one for large crowds or detailed planning, so even something as simple as hosting a baby or bridal shower gives me stress. “How about I make the spinach dip and someone else be in charge? Please!”

So you can imagine how I felt when it came time to plan my wedding. My big family Indian wedding! There were lots of decisions to be made and even more details to be ironed out. With a guest list narrowed down and a Yellow Pages phone book in hand, the planning began. Keep in mind, this was before the internet became the great resource it is today.

In 1 Kings chapter 6, we read about the construction of an even bigger pre-internet project … the construction of God’s temple. And King Solomon was the man God appointed to the task.

With interior walls lined with cedar boards, planks of pine covering the floor, pure gold covering the inside of the temple, and doors made of olive wood for the entrance of the inner sanctuary, every inch of the temple was filled with detail.

After the completion of the project, Solomon summoned the priests to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place in the inner sanctuary. “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple” (1 Kings 8:10-11).

Talk about a mic-drop moment.

I wonder if at this point, Solomon breathed a sigh of relief. Seven years of hard work would have been in vain if God failed to show up to His own house dedication. Scripture tells us God’s presence was so thick, the priests had to literally stop what they were doing. How awesome it must have been!

The psalmist writes, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1a, NIV). And in Exodus 33:15, Moses essentially says, Lord, I’m not going unless You go with me.

In other words, we can build the most magnificent buildings, we can put together the most beautiful wedding, we can plan out our present or map out our future, with every detail in place, but at the end of it all, what really matters is the peace and presence of God.

In the end, after about 10 months of planning, my wedding day came and went. Not everything went exactly like I had planned ... it started a few minutes late, my hair went flat, and the chicken wasn't as tasty as it was during the taste-testing ... but that’s OK. My husband and I were married, and God was with us.

Mission accomplished.

Heavenly Father, whether we’re planning an event or simply planning out our day, may we be so keenly aware of Your presence that we, like the priests, stop what we are doing and take a moment to breathe in Your goodness. Father, we thank You for the direction You give us and for Your calming presence in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 127:1, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 3:13, “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES

Have you ever found yourself wondering, How do I trust God with certainty when my situation seems so uncertain? You aren’t alone! Join us for our next 6-week Online Bible Study of Trustworthy: Overcoming Our Greatest Struggles to Trust God by Lysa TerKeurst. The study begins January 20, but you can register here for free today!

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REFLECT AND RESPOND

Are you facing a task or even a decision that feels overwhelming? Take a few minutes and ask God to enter into the planning or decision-making process with you. Then, like the priests, take another moment to thank and honor God for His presence and His guidance in your life. Share your thoughts in our comments section!

© 2019 by Binu Samuel. All rights reserved.

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