“Nothing was in the chest except the two stone tablets Moses had placed there while at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they left Egypt. When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the LORD’s temple, and the priests were unable to carry out their duties due to the cloud because the LORD’s glory filled the LORD’s temple.”

1 Kings 8:9-11 (CEB)

Do you have anything to get off your chest? Many times what blocks God’s flow in our lives is us having too much stuff in our chests. We stuff our feelings, carry around grudges, and hold stuff against people. God can’t move when we got stuff on our chests. We become weighted down and we miss the weight of his Presence. The word “glory” means the weight of God’s presence.

The Ark of the Covenant was the chest that carried the ten commandments that God gave Moses. When Solomon built God a temple he had the priests bring in the chest. The writer brings special attention to the fact that there was nothing in the chest except the covenant. Then the glory cloud filled the temple and the priests couldn’t even perform their duties!

  1. There was nothing in the chest except the word of God. If we are going to experience the glory of God, we are going to have to get some stuff off our chest! Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16).
  2. Nothing was in the chest but the word of God. We have to make sure that we read God’s word and keep it in our chest. Psalm 119: states: How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  3. Religion was replaced with presence. When the chest filled with the word, was placed in the temple the priest left and the presence of God came in. God’s Glory was so overwhelming that the priests couldn’t even perform their regular duties. God wants to come in our church services and take over but we got too much on our chests! God can’t show up in church until you show up in church with an empty chest full of God’s word. We have so much on our chest when we come to church that we miss God’s presence!

If we are going to truly experience the presence of God we have to get some stuff off our chests. We must speak truth in love to one another. We have to let go of offense caused by our brothers and sisters. You’re walking around with something on your chest wondering why you can’t get anything out of church. It’s only when you come with an empty chest, which contains the word of God, that God’s glory shows up and religion has to leave the building!

Dear God,

Help me to get stuff off my chest so I can experience your presence like never before. I want your glory cloud to fill up the whole church on Sunday to the point that we can’t even carry on with business as usual. Help me to get stuff off my chest with anybody I’m at odds with so you can show up and show out! Search me oh God! If you find anything that’s in me that’s not like you take it out right now!

In Jesus’ Name,