2 Chronicles 7:1-8:10; Romans 8:1-8; Psalms 18:16-24; Proverbs 8:27-32
OT: “When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests were not able to enter the Lord’s temple because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the Lord came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the Lord: For he is good, for his faithful love endures forever… Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice. If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3, 12-14 CSB)
In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon prayed an eloquent prayer asking God to recognize the temple, to hear the prayers offered toward the temple, and allow the temple to stand as a representation for all the world of God’s glory. After Solomon finished praying, God visually responded to and accepted Solomon’s prayer by sending fire from heaven to consume the offering that was placed on the altar. Later that night, when Solomon was alone and away from all the pomp and ceremony of the day, God responded to Solomon’s prayer personally. God would recognize the temple and allow His name to dwell there, but what He really desired was for His name to be upon and His glory to fill a consecrated people. He would hear prayers directed to the temple, but what He really desired was a consecrated people, who bore His name, to humble themselves and seek Him. If His people didn’t humble themselves and seek Him… if Solomon didn’t humble himself and seek the Lord, then the opulent temple that was just dedicated would serve no purpose and would just as soon be abandoned and destroyed. God doesn’t desire temples made by hand – God desires to inhabit and dwell among a holy and consecrated people. If the people truly wanted their prayers heard by God, then they would humble themselves, repent from sin, and seek God’s face.
NT: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death…. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:1-2, 5-8 CSB)
In the Gospel of John, just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples that when He went to be with the Father, He would send a helper like Him to lead us into all truth and empower us to live the way He lived. That helper that Jesus sent was the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that empowered Jesus and enabled Him to overcome every temptation has been given to us, if we will receive Him. If we, by faith, allow Jesus to baptize us with the Holy Spirit, then we are filled with God’s empowerment to overcome our corrupted flesh. If we try to live a holy life through our own efforts, we will experience condemnation because of our inability to overcome our flesh. However, if we through faith in Christ Jesus are filled with the Spirit and then walk according to the Spirit, there will be no condemnation for the Spirit of God in us will work in us to will and do what is pleasing to God. It is impossible to live a holy and consecrated life unto God without the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit and walking according to the Holy Spirit, living a holy and consecrated life that is full of God’s glory is most definitely possible.