Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be a little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.
WAKE UP! Wake up and realize that it is no longer about you! The money, the cars, the houses, the money in the bank, the prized possessions of this world mean NOTHING in comparison to being known by our Lord and Savior. How often do we fail to recognize the true importance, bliss, and adventure of walking with the Lord? How often do we get caught up in the world…striving for the next best thing, the next new car, the next iPhone, the next $1000? We come to God and we ask Him to change us, to motivate us, to move within and through us. We come ready to make a refreshed commitment to walk humbly and obediently with Him. And then before we know it, we find ourselves back at square one…lost, broken, hurt, empty, and searching for any sort of satisfaction. Whether we recognize it or not, we are spiritually hungry, always looking for something, someone to satisfy the cravings of our soul. We search desperately for meaning, for a purpose, we search for love. These desires, these emotions, the pain, the hurt, the questions, and the search is nothing new to mankind. Even thousands of years ago, the Jewish people failed to recognize that it was God and God ALONE that could satisfy them. They planted (invested) so much of their time and money, and hardly saw a return on any of it. The Jews put on clothes to keep themselves warm and protected but they failed to feel comforted and secure. They would eat and drink and somehow it would never satisfy the need for more. How often do we find ourselves in this same predicament…..the Lords house sits in shambles as we rest comfortably in our paneled houses, spiritually blind to the world around us? Right now God is calling you to WAKE UP! Read Paul’s words and listen to His soul cry out:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in His death.
“I consider it all a loss for the sake of Christ.” Paul gets it. He realizes that there isn’t a big enough house, not enough money in the bank, or enough brand new up to date gadgets that will satisfy his soul’s cry. Nothing in this world can compete with the reality that Christ is the greatest gift known to man. The author of this world, the creator of joy and bliss, the ultimate romancer, and our Heavenly Father is so much greater than what we THINK we need and want. Paul’s cry and deepest desire was to know and be known by Christ, to feel the power of his resurrection, to know His endless love for His children. Nothing of the world had dominion over him, rather he was committed to Christ and the journey of following Him.
Look back at what Haggai called out amongst the Jews. The Lord uses Haggai as he declares that the lack of return on investment, the continual hunger, and the depleting savings accounts are due to the fact the Lord’s house sat unfinished and a wreck. The Jews were too self centered and narrow minded to stop and realize that the Lord was failing to get any recognition in their lives. Wow, how often do our busy lives, crazy schedules, and technological devices keep us from consistently giving God recognition and glory? How often do we spend our money and time building up our inheritance on earth forgetting that the Temple is in ruin? That Temple is US! We carry the Holy Spirit and walk as a Holy Temple where the Lord dwells. This is when the Lord comes in and boldly states, “Give careful thought to your ways.” That is a powerful yet simple command from our Heavenly Father. My beloved son, my beloved daughter, what are you doing and why are you doing it? Have you stopped and reexamined the past few weeks, months, or years of your life? Do you ever draw the conclusion that you were not truly sure what you were doing or why you were doing it? Confusion and lack of certainty can be quite discouraging. Do you ever feel like you invest copious amounts of time, energy, or money into something or someone just to feel like you are moving backwards or completely stagnant? Feelings of remorse, depression, or even anger can stem from a lack of progression in life. Here, the Lord is requesting us to stop, stop from the craziness of life, stop from the daily wrestles and issues to take a breath and examine our purpose and our walk with Him.
The challenge is here, the time is now, and the Lord is knocking. Are you tired? Are you frustrated? Do you need rest? Do you need comfort? The Lord declares in Haggai:
“In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord Almighty. “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty. “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. “And in this place I will grant peace.”
The time has come to build back the Lords house and watch it flourish. He declares in His word that we will not take this journey alone, rather He is with us through it all. Do you believe it? Is it worth laying down all your selfish desires, your constant striving for more, and your pride? Are you ready to reach out and grab ahold of a loving a powerful Heavenly Father who is ready to take you to new levels?
“And in this place I will grant you peace”