This message is to my Christian brothers and sisters – with love. Do you find yourself getting sidetracked from doing God’s will in your life? Do you make a good resolution to follow the Lord more faithfully, or read the Bible more often; or pray more often, witness more often, be kinder and more forgiving, only to become busy doing something for yourself?
This is not a new problem and it is one of the Devil’s favorite weapons against us all. The thing we are sidetracked with may not be bad in and of itself but, it keeps us from putting God first. It is the problem the Israelite’s had when they returned from the Babylonian captivity. As God spoke to the prophet Haggai –
“.. the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,” Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built. Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?’” – Haggai 1:1-4
The people had been released by King Darius to return to Judea specifically to rebuild the Temple but, in their happiness at being back in the Land they forgot and began to think of themselves. As their commitment to God began to grow cold, God’s blessing began to disappear from their efforts –
“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
God’s message to them was very clear: “Consider your ways! You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.”
There is a strong lesson for us in this Scripture as well. Are we seeking our own ways or are we asking God what He wants us to do and then setting our hand to the task? God wants us to build His house! The difference between us and the people of Haggai’s time is; the house of the Lord is not a temple building – it is us – the people of God, the Church. God wants to build up the people of God so we can stand against the enemy of our souls and rescue the lost as well.
I am not talking about church buildings but rather about individual believers. God spoke to the people of Haggai’s day –
“According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear! For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:5-7
We present day believers were also given the Holy Spirit. Jesus said –
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
We were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the express purpose of building up the household of God –
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:” – 1 Corinthians 12:7
No believers were excluded and the purpose was that we should be witnesses to Christ Jesus. In other words, we received the Holy Spirit not to build our own houses but to build the House of God and to prepare it for the great shaking that is coming. The fact that God said “Once more I will shake heaven and earth” indicates a time immediately before the coming of the Lord. It will be a time of judgment but, also a time of great harvest of souls for the Lord. It is the time of the “latter rain” Joel spoke about –
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel 2:23
As we witness the Blood Red Moon tetrad on the Biblical Feast days of Passover and Tabernacles of 2014-2015; strange sounds in the earth and the heavens; the mass die-off of fish, birds and cattle since 2010; major earthquakes in various places on the earth; comets and other strange lights in the skies; Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and other nations preparing for war against Israel as is prophesied in Ezekiel 38; 153 nations of the UN (with only 7 abstaining) voting to divide Israel and take Jerusalem away from Israel this last week; and financial world-wide crashes and rumblings of more to come; it is very easy to believe that God is getting ready to shake “heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations” to prepare them for the coming of Messiah.
It is time to once again put our hand to the plow and with diligence and zeal recommit to doing God’s work. We do not want to be the ‘lukewarm’ believers of the Revelation Church of Laodocia who get spewed out of the Lord’s mouth or the ‘dead’ believers of the Church of Sardis who get their names ‘blotted out of the Book of Life’. We want to be like those of the Church of Philadelphia, who even though they had but little strength nevertheless “have kept My word, and have not denied My name”.
If we will commit to doing these things then the promise God spoke to Haggai will be true for us as well –
“Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, ‘I am with you, says the LORD.” – Haggai 1:13