3 Who among you is left who saw
this house in its former glory?
How does it look to you now?
Doesn’t it appear as nothing to you?
9 This house will be more glorious
than its predecessor,
says the LORD of heavenly forces.
I will provide prosperity in this place, says the LORD of heavenly forces.(Haggai 2:3,9, CEB)
In this passage the story is of the Return. The people of God have come back from exile and the call has been to rebuild the Temple. As they try desperately to rebuild the Temple, the realization hits that what they are trying to build just doesn’t compare to the former Temple of Solomon. The older folks were crying over the bad attempt.
The word from the Lord was to understand the outer structure was not what was important. The glory to come would be greater. This would, of course, be looking forward to the coming of Messiah. Messiah would be in this Temple area, so he would usher in something far greater than anything Solomon had accomplished.
As I read this text I reflect on some conversations I’ve had in the past week regarding experiences with God. I’ve had those moments and struggles in my own life, and I am trying to walk through these times with some college-age students right now.
The struggle goes like this: We have a very powerful time with God and there is a time in our lives when we would spend hours in prayer or hours in the Word and for several months we were having amazing experiences with God. Then, life happened. We went off to college, got jobs, etc.
But instead of realizing our walk with God is dynamic, we keep reaching back for that exact same experience. We don’t allow for life changes.
“Why can’t I seem as close to God as when I was in ______.”
We keep looking for that same feeling.
What we need to understand is that a greater glory can actually come into our lives. The dynamics of God walking with us may change, but it may just get sweeter.
I am a Pentecostal and grew up Pentecostal. When I was in high school I could get up at 5 in the morning, watch Jimmy Swaggart, go over to the church to pray for an hour, and then head to school. I would walk and pray and shout my praises and shout my rebukes at the devil, etc.
In college I didn’t get the same amount of time so I felt like I was drifting. What I learned was that season change. The walk with God can get deeper. The glory can be greater.
As a Pentecostal it is now odd to write that the most powerful experiences with God I have ever had have been in silence. And it is true. (To this point.)
Several years ago I was part of a three day silent retreat led by a director who helped us walk through the struggles of quieting our souls before God. Then, about 18 hours into the roughly 36 hour experience, God came down. I experienced his presence in such reality I get goose bumps just writing it. I wept uncontrollably for hours as he poured his abundant love into my life.
Since that time I have had the privilege of going on several more silent retreats. I have found a wonderful retreat center about an hour from my home that is dedicated to silence.
At this point in my life, I can almost set an alarm for when God will show up. It is so overwhelming. The experience is so breathtaking and beautiful I simply can’t describe it. His glory is far greater right now than when I was 16 or 17.
Here’s the thing: even that may change in the next few years. But I can’t worry over my method. I simply look for him and find a new way to understand his glory.
Do not despair if how you walked with God is not the same as a few years ago. It need not be that way. Something new can happen. A greater glory can come.
2 thoughts on “The Place of Glory”
excellent post, Pastor Dan. Every day is a new day. Every day we get new manna from Heaven. God does remind us when He was there with us yesterday, a month ago, or years ago and the grand experience… and yet He is a forward moving God, and so He wants us to move forward too. With expectancy.
i need this word…