Spending Time Building God’s House in Our Lives
Read Haggai Chapter 1
Hag 1:2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the LORD’S house to be built.’ ” 3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have 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.” 7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be 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 his own house.
In this passage, the Lord had determined that it was time to begin rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. Apparently there were some who had been saying that it wasn’t yet time for its rebuilding. The Lord issued His word to Haggai so that the people could begin to plan the work. As a way of persuading the people, the Lord pointed out something which the people had not considered. They had been going about the work of building up their daily lives, doing whatever it took to keep their lives going as well as possible, which left them with no time to work on God’s house. Therefore, the Lord had brought about some hindrances in their lives in order to cause them to refocus on God’s plans.
As I read this recently, I began to wonder if this is a good analysis of what is happening today in Christianity. Have God’s people been so caught up in doing whatever is necessary to survive in today’s society that they have unknowingly been ignoring the need to build up “God’s house?” You decide. As we look around us today and see what occupies the minds and interests of Christians, how much energy is been used in both quests? Are people spending more time building up God’s house, or their own?
What is God’s house today? It is the Holy Spirit residing in the individual’s heart. It is the collective body of believers, as they use their spiritual gifts to build and strengthen God’s Kingdom. As a matter of confession, I can say without any hesitation that during my working years, before retirement, I spent a much greater amount of time working on my “house” than God’s “house.” I am more balanced now than at any other time in my life, but I am giving pause to think, “Do I need to do more?”
Also, there is an application to our SSA. How many of us are spending a lot of time attempting to conquer our same-sex attractions, yet spending very little time building up God’s house, working on our spiritual growth? Of course, we must spend time quelling our SSA addictions. But if that work is the primary occupier of our time, if it is our main focus, we may actually be hampering our walk with God. How much time do we spend building up God’s house within our “temple?” Do we know God’s word? Do we spend enough time reading and meditating on His word? Do we spend enough time in prayer? Do we consult our Lord many times each day, as we are confronted with the everyday encounters with life?
These are questions we must ask ourselves and respond appropriately as we receive our answers. I truly believe that we will gain our victory over same-sex attractions more quickly and more thoroughly if we spend a greater amount of our time building up God’s house. If God’s house remains in a ruin, as noted in verse 9, then maybe we are spending too much time building up our own houses.
Prayer: Father, reveal the truth to me. Show me clearly whether I am doing a proper job of building Your house. Show me if my own house is in need of repair mainly because I have neglected Your house.