Chapter 6.1: The call for a new Heart

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.

16 June 2008

THE CALL FOR A NEW HEART

Haggai consists of 2 chapters:

Chapter 1 = The Call to Rebuild the Temple

Chapter 2 = Encouragement to Complete the Temple

"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?" Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways!"

At this point in time, it became difficult financially. My money well was drying up! The money I had saved the previous year had to be spent and it was not being replenished because of the load-shedding. I have lost my clients and my business is dead. Then I read:

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.

You looked for much but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home I blew it away. Why? Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruits. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labour of your hands.”

When I read this I literally fell to the ground and said, 'this is me! G_d is surely speaking to me this day! G_d withheld the dew! G_d blew it away!'

Just the month before I told my tax consultant 'I am having such a dry year'.

Then G_d told them:

"Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified!"

G_d is telling me that I need to consider my ways! The Word says that our bodies are the Lord's temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in it. But we have neglected our temples. Our temples lie in ruins while we are so busy building our homes and collecting pretty ornaments to put into it; decorating and adding. We are spending so much money on material things while we do not even care or realise that our own spiritual homes are lying in ruins!

We need to seek His face and not His hand; get the wood and get the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in us again!

So many of us are busy building our castles on sand and when we least expect it, it will perish in the waves and we will perish with it! We are busy with our own things and we have not spent time with G_d.

G_d showed me the following:

In the 1st chapter, G_d spoke to the people in the 6th month and G_d said that they were more concerned about their own image than the image they were supposed to be portraying – G_d’s image.

In Ira Milligan’s Dream book the number 6 represents 'Image'.

In the 7th month, they had finished the temple in their hearts as G_d commanded them and G_d told them to look at it and see that it was glorious. Although they had not yet finished the physical temple, they had turned back to G_d and set right the image before G_d! They had the right focus and priorities again, and G_d told them that His Spirit would again be with them.

In Ira Milligan’s Dream book the number 7 represents Holy Spirit, or complete!

Then, in the 9th month, G_d spoke to Haggai again and said: "Consider now from this day forward, from the 24th day of the 9th month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid - consider it: Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you."

In Ira Milligan’s Dream book the number 9 represents fruit or harvest!

How incredible is this!? Only G_d!

And G_d said further:

"Be strong and work, for I am with you...My Spirit remains with you; do not fear."

If we carefully consider our ways and if we allow G_d to change our hearts and rebuild our temples, then we will reap a harvest. In the meantime, we need to continue working and have peace for He is in control, as long as we submit to Him and His will for our lives. We need to glorify G_d, not ourselves.

Judah's people had returned to worshipping G_d and G_d had promised to bless their efforts, but it was time for them to work. We must be people of prayer, Bible study, and worship, and we must get out and do what G_d has in mind for us. He wants to change the world through us! He needs us in the workplace and at home.

G_d could have rebuilt the temple by just speaking the words, but He wanted to rebuild it through people. This scripture also teaches us that we need to work and not be lazy, and then He will bless the work of our hands.

Work is not a bad thing. G_d created the earth with all living things and rested from His work on the 7th (completed) day. He gave Adam a job - to look after the garden and to name all the animals. Work was not a result of Adam breaking the covenant. Work certainly is different after the curse, but we were meant to work from day one of creation, and for women who are blessed to focus on their children and home and husband, that is work and in my opinion the most honorable and blessed work for a wife and mother.

Pressures, demands, expectations, and tasks push in from all sides and assault our schedules. Do this! Be there! Finish that! Call them! It seems as though everyone wants something from us - family, friends, employer, school, church. Soon there is little left to give, as we run out of energy and time. We find ourselves rushing through life, attending to the necessary, the immediate, and the urgent. The importance is all too often left in the dust.

Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources - time, money, strength, and talent. Often our actions belie our words. We say G_d is number one, but then we relegate him to a lesser number on our "to do" list! ~ NKJV

Indeed, it is time for a new heart!