Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Because My House Lies in Waste...

I have been crying out to God on behalf of His people, myself included. It seems that we have missed so much, and that the people of God are going through so much. I have to ask God why. I had to seek further instruction and more clarification. Last week, the Lord began answering some of these questions, and my Pastor confirmed some things on Sunday. When she first said it, I thought it pertained only to our church, but God continued to deal with me and reveal that what she said pertained to the entire Body of Christ, as did the other things He shared with me.

She said, “The church is full of leaders, but there are no workers.” Oh, that statement hit me like a brick, because God told me so clearly last week that His house lies in waste. Everyone is in a position of authority (so we think), but there are few lamenting and doing the work of the Father – sitting at His feet and waiting for instruction – working to build the Kingdom. Initially, I thought of the physical church – the buildings and the congregations of the people, but the Lord quickly corrected me and lead me to the book of Haggai.

Hag 1:3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 1:4 Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house [of the Lord] lies in ruins?

In the Old Testament, the temple of God housed the very glory of the Father. Not only that, but the house of God was also a safe haven for the people in a given city. Out of the temple, the poor were fed and the homeless could receive shelter and assistance. It was the center for ministry. Most importantly, God impressed on me that the house was the His dwelling place, the stage for His glory. So when I went back to this Scripture, I could here the Father asking, “Is it time for you yourselves to baste in your own glory while my worship remains in ruins?” Yes, back to the worship again.

Hag 1:5 Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways {and} set your mind on what has come to you.
Hag 1:6 You have sown much, but you have reaped little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages has earned them to put them in a bag with holes in it.

Yes, many of us are in these situations. We survive, but are not satisfied. It seems as if something is incomplete – something is missing and void. While we strive to fill the void with more stuff, more money, more entertainment, more success – the glory of God is the missing piece. Pure worship is still lacking from amongst God’s people.

Hag 1:7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) {and} how you have fared.
Hag 1:8 Go up to the hill country and bring lumber and rebuild [My] house, and I will take pleasure in it and I will be glorified, says the Lord [by accepting it as done for My glory and by displaying My glory in it].

I hear God saying, “Get back to work.” Yes, it is time to get back to building the Kingdom. For two long, we’ve built our own ministries and our own churches, our own families and our own reputations. Again, I hear “UNITY.” It’s needed in order to build God’s Kingdom and usher in His glory. It’s needed in order to offer Him the praise and the worship He desires. It’s required in order to rebuild His house – to offer a dwelling place where His presence can dwell.

Hag 1:9 You looked for much [harvest], and behold, it came to little; and even when you brought that home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of My house, which lies waste while you yourselves run each man to his own house [eager to build and adorn it].
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heavens above you [for your sake] withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its produce.

Priorities must be reordered this day. Too many of us are concerned with selfish desires and vain glory – we want to have the biggest church, the most popular ministry. We want to have the television show and the radio program. We want the fighting and the gossiping to stop at the church as long as we’re right and everyone else looks wrong. We’re concerned with wearing the nicest suit and the prettiest shoes instead of having a prepared spirit and a contrite heart. More concerned with decorating the church halls for guests than repenting and preparing our hearts for God’s presence to visit the house.

I even hear God reminding us that pure worship requires “sacrifice.” Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are bought with a price. When will we yield our lives to the Father and truly die daily to ourselves, that He may be glorified and our flesh crucified for His sake? How long will we allow the Father’s house to lie in waste while we dwell in our own agendas?

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