"And when the priests came out of the Holy Place…" There is a lot packed into those few words for worship leaders. implications, results and challenges.
Those words come from the book of 1 Kings chapter 8, where the nation of Israel was preparing to have its first worship service in the new temple. The priests were getting everything in order, but before they led the people in worship they went into the presence of the Lord. That would have been into the inner sanctuary, the Holy Place.
The words that follow in scripture are: "…a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord."
The implication: the priests, before leading others, took time before worship to prepare…their hearts…spending time in in God's presence.
The result: God's presence was so strong, so heavy, that the ministers could not stand.
The challenge: Have I spent enough time in God's presence to recognize His presence? to worship? to lead others?
The formula of putting a service together is something that can become routine: if we do this or add this to the service we could get this reaction. But formula is not what God's people need in worship…they need leaders who have spent time in the presence of God before the service.
But all the responsibility of preparing for worship should not be laid on the leaders. All those in the gathering will sense God's power in worship if they are willing to spend time in God's presence before worship.
The only way to get there in worship is for both the leaders and the rest of the worshipers to spend time in God's presence before gathering.
So will we be willing to go into the Holy Place, the very presence of God, before we go to our next worship gathering? Are we willing to ask God to send His manifest presence in our place of worship?
If we all said yes, what would we experience?