While reading through my bible this morning, I was reminded of a deep and moving message that Law, one of our connect group friends, shared with us a few weeks ago.
It was the story of how the prophet Haggai challenged the people of Israel who just returned to their own land Judea, with regards to setting their prioritities. Basically they all started building their own houses instead of building the temple of God who led them back to their land in the first place.
“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.””
Haggai 1:3-6 NIV
As the story goes, their actions caused them to live a life of unmet needs and with shortage of provision.
I reflected on this in my own life and really challenged myself, “am I building God’s house or am I simply looking after my own needs”? This could be very confronting for many Christians especially those who are overflowing with provisions. Don’t get me wrong though, I believe God takes delight in blessing His people. But I also believe that He looks after us in higher ways than just to give us our daily bread. More than this, I believe that He is in a mission to make us more and more like Christ. And this includes encouraging us to look after His kingdom prior to looking after ourselves.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 NIV
The comforting part of the story is that after the Israelites have had a change of heart and decided to put rebuilding God’s house first before building their own, not only did God strengthen them to do so, but also promised to pour upon them blessings that were far greater than what they had before.
“‘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,’ declares The Lord Almighty.”
Haggai 2:9 NIV
Today let us really look into ourselves and be honest, whose house are we building? Are we experiencing lack because we’ve been too busy filling it with our own efforts? Perhaps it’s time to examine God’s temple in our lives and start building it. God bless you.