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Living Honestly with God

Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.

2 Chronicles 7:12-16 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/2ch.7.12-16.NLT

It is a scene to be remembered: The Lord appears to Solomon. Take the phrase in. God appears to a person. The one who has always been and will always be takes time to be with one person. He has very clear words:

  • I have heard your prayer. These are words we all long to hear from God. To be seen, heard, loved, supported, and responded to is an amazing gift God gives.
  • I have chosen this place. God’s presence and blessing of a specific place for a specific purpose is something that give us great assurance and encouragement. We are drawn to places where God is. We are drawn to places where God is working. We are drawn to places of God where we surrender our lives to His will and purposes.
  • At times I might bring hard things into your life. Honestly, we don’t like this part about God and His ways. Yet, He has a purpose in it that is deeper than what we can fully comprehend or appreciate.
  • I am calling You back to what is good and right. God is calling us back to live with Him honestly. We see His holiness. We see our brokenness and wickedness. We see the fault of reliance and confidence in ourselves. We see the need for God. We seek Him.
  • I will hear, respond, and restore life and land. Relationships and space are restored by God. God hears. God heals. God restores. God responds.
  • I have chosen this place and set it apart to be holy. There is a sacredness of space when God chooses it to be set apart as a holy place. Recently, while at Black Diamond Camp, there was this profound sense of the presence of God. I was aware that God has chosen this place and set it apart. I have known this truth about Warm Beach Camp for years. It is a “thin place” where heaven and earth meet.
  • A place where my name will be honored forever. This is one of the main purposes of any place set apart by God. It is to lift Him up and bring honor and glory to Him in all things.
  • I will always watch over it. This is reassuring. God is watching over His People and His sacred places.
  • This place is dear to my heart. Such a tender statement of love and affection for the people and places of God.

 

Reflection

God comes to us, just as He did Solomon. He provides clear direction. He calls us back. He asks us to live honestly with Him. God initiates hard things to give us the opportunity to turn away from our own wickedness and back to His redemptive love and will for our lives. He cares about us. He sets aside sacred spaces for us to draw near Him. We are dear to Him.

Encouragement

Dare to see God working to call you back through hard things in your life. Discern what He has initiated in contrast to things we bring on ourselves. Understand His heart for restoration of relationship with Him. Be open to God showing up in your life with clear direction and guidance.

Prayer

Dear Father God,

Thank You for coming to us. Thank You for hearing our prayers. Thank You for using hard things in our lives to call us back to You. Thank You for inviting us to reject our own wickedness and live honestly with You. Thank You for the reminder of how much You treasure us.

In Jesus’s name we pray,

Amen.

-Ed McDowell, CEO
Warm Beach Camp Ministries

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