Despite all their efforts to avoid the transformer, its impact turned out to be an amazing story of national significance.
Just immediately after returning from exiles the people gave all efforts and attention to re-building their ruined homes, and businesses while abandoning the place of worship, which was at the centre of their community, and was a symbol of their sustenance.
The determination to catch up with years lost in captivity, and regain the lost years of business activities and economic boom was at the top of their agenda. Their pursuit was to re-enact the days of prosperity by every means, therefore, ‘God and his business can wait’, they thought.
This action by the people made God issue a warning and instructions through the Prophet Hagai, saying, “…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.” Haggai 1:7-8. Apparently, God had watched them struggle in vain. In His sovereignty, He had prevented their land from yielding its fruits, and has made national blessings elusive.
Despite all the efforts to achieve a desired result, failures and disappointments met all their endeavours. Though they made several attempts at success, yet frustrations wasn’t far away from them. They invested so much in agriculture and anticipated flourishing commercial harvest. But instead of celebrating abundance, calamities and adversities were the reoccurring phenomenon.
Is your story and experience similar to the one painted above? Have you struggled so much to achieve a desired results yet several of your expectations have failed you? Could it be that like these returning exiles, you have given little or no time to the things that concerns God, and you have become so pre-occuppied with the busyness of this life? Little wonder your achievements are elusive and you have little or no result to show for all your frantic efforts. You may have even fasted and prayed, and used your hitherto sure human connections, yet your efforts ended in futility.
Perhaps, this is because you have forgotten that it is never how far but how well. You should not also forget that, except God builds a house, the labourers works in vain (Psalm 27:1). I know you have committed so much to your business yet you get poor results. Up till now your sincere efforts to pass an exam has been in futility, even though you have committed so much resources into it. Perhaps, you should consider your ways, and do it right again!
God is saying, “Give me your attention and mind my own business as well, and I’ll make your little effort yield great harvest. Seeing that I control the wind and the rains, I can choose to shut the heavens so that your hard labour would yield futility. Likewise, I can choose to open up the gates of heaven so that your little efforts would yield bountiful harvests.
“I am the fountain of life.” How much longer can you survive without me? Just as a river that forgets its source would dry up, so also you cannot truly succeed without me. A consistent friendship with me is the sure way to true prosperity because I don’t only give you the good things of life, I also give life, abundant life!”, says the Lord.
For the returning exiles, God’s instructions to them was to make the building of the place of worship a reality. It was a call to give God the best place in their national life, whilst they go about their own businesses.
In the new covenant, we are God’s temple as such He wouldn’t want our temple to be in ruin. For you, God’s instruction might be a call to re-awaken from your state of spiritual lethargy. It might be a call to rise up to your duty and calling. Or to you, it might be a call to cease from your struggles and embrace the way of godliness, peace and righteousness.
“Go up to the mountain…!” Begin the process of experiencing a closer and more intimate fellowship with your creator. Like the Israelites did obeyed the voice of the Lord, their God, and they worked on the house of the Lord, you too should heed His instructions so you can be transferred, and enjoy the promise of great and bountiful harvest.
The word of God is the transformer that changes us and our situations. God’s instruction is Like a Step-up-transformer that connects us to a higher realm of grace and favour with God. If you want to follow God more closely you must know what He says every moment. The more we know the scope of God’s word, the more resources we would have to guide us in our daily decisions, and more fulfilling our lives would be.
God’s word is a grace-carrying-conductor. It impacts strength to our hearts and inspire our zeal. As long as our delights is in the things that pleases God, He will always transform us by His grace, and He will empower us to yield excellent results. We must daily spend time in His presence, and make the choices that show our love and devotion for Him.
Dear friend, rise up from the ashes and step up with God. Let God’s word transform you (Romans 12:2). You’re winning! Yes, we are winning! Welcome to the month of July. Cheers!