Haggai 1:9 “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.”
It seems that taking care of every business but God’s business has been an issue for a long time. The prophet, Haggai, spoke these words to the Israelites over 2500 years ago in 520 B.C. after they returned from Babylonian captivity. At the time, God was displeased because they had not yet rebuilt His temple, but they had made sure to build and prepare their own homes. As a result, God caused all of their work to be unfruitful. “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” (Haggai 1:6). I don’t know about you, but I often resemble that remark. However, this is not a license to skip the cleaning and maintenance of our homes, but a call to consider how much time we are giving to building God’s temple versus our own lives.
The Jewish temple was the dwelling place of God. It held God’s Word, was a place of prayer and worship and was a sign that God was with them. Today God’s temple is found in believers and the church body, and the Holy Spirit is the sign that God is with us. “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” ( 1 Corinthians 3:16). Is building up believers and God’s Church our priority, or does it come after we take care of everything else? I know for myself, it is a constant battle to put God first. The call of the daily to-do list is strong. The problem is that it never goes away. There is a saying that if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. I guess he must be working overtime, because there always seems to be more to do. When we don’t put God first, we often don’t get to Him at all. So while we are busy with our own houses, God’s remains in ruins as we neglect our spiritual building blocks. Jesus said in Matthew 21:13 that His house will be called a house of prayer. Can we say we are faithful to that charge? In John 14:2 Jesus tells us His Father’s house has many rooms which He is preparing for believers. Are we sharing God’s Word and Son with others to help fill those rooms? Do you feel like your wheels are spinning, but you’re not gaining mileage? Then, “…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Let’s put down our to-do lists and pick up our Bibles. Let’s spend less time communicating on social networks and more time communicating with God in prayer.
With what are you filling your home and life that delays you from building God’s temple?
Which spiritual building block is God waiting for you to pick up and use?