READ: 2 Chronicles 6:12-18
(12-16) Before the entire congregation of Israel, Solomon took his position at the Altar of God and stretched out his hands. Solomon had made a bronze dais seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high and placed it inside the court; that’s where he now stood. Then he knelt in full view of the whole congregation, stretched his hands to heaven, and prayed:
God, O God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below, who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and unfailingly loves them while they sincerely live in obedience to your way. You kept your word to David my father, your promise. You did exactly what you promised–every detail. The proof is before us today!
Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, “You’ll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel’s throne, on the one condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have.”
(17) O God, God of Israel, let this all happen —
Confirm and establish it!
(18) Can it be that God will actually move in our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn’t large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I’ve built.’
THINK: King Solomon, son of King David, built the famous temple to the Lord on Mount Zion in Jerusalem as a gathering place for the Jews to worship Yahweh. It took him years to build this temple, and at its completion he assembled all the people for a public dedication. To dedicate something is to set it aside for a special purpose. As you read the dedication prayer of Solomon, notice the gratitude and the humility of the king as he prays.
What precious aspects of your life (for example, people, positions, locations, important events, yourself) do you need to set solely aside for the Lord as a public reminder that all you have belongs to God? What would it take for you to do that…and with the attitude of Solomon?
One thing that has been difficult for me over the course of this past year is remembering the words of a picture I saw once that says: “Don’t pluck up in doubt what you planted in faith.” This has applied to my life in so many ways this past year, but in the pursuit of my education, I have really had to cling tight to those words. When all this mess started, my plan was to continue with my education until it was done, and then, use it. I had no idea what else to do. I still don’t, most of the time. What I do know is that every time I’ve set out to get a job, something has happened to get in the way. I’m not talking about part-time work, that’ll allow me to make a little extra cash. I’m talking about full-time employment so that I can fully support the family. Surely, that’s what an able-bodied person ought to do. Yet, every time I’ve put in an application, I’ve been passed over. I’ve been close on two or three jobs, and something has happened – at the last minute – that stopped me from getting the job. I still have applications out. I’m still looking. But…my practicum starts in the spring, and my internship in the summer. And both of those are going to need to be paid, or else God is going to have to open other doors that I’m not able to see right now.
PRAY: Write out a prayer of dedication to God for an individual, situation, event, or position.
Dear Heavenly Father, only You know the plans you have for me right now. I wish I did, but something tells me that I’d most likely jump the gun and run ahead of your will because I just so desperately want something resembling normal in my life right now. The thing is: I’ve never wanted normal. Not for my Christian walk. So, please, help me to trust you with these plans. Keep my eyes open for the opportunities you are making available to me, and help me to know when you are shutting doors that I am tempted to try to push through. Though there are so many things I should dedicate to you and leave them in your ever-capable hands, right now, I am entrusting my education and my future plans to you. Help me to leave them there, rather than always trying to snatch them back out of your hands.
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
LIVE: Keep your dedication prayer so you can occasionally refer to it. In fact, if you wish, make a note on your calendar a few weeks from today to reread your prayer. At that time, think about what’s different in your life due to your dedication.