What is something that God directed you to do in your life? Take a moment and think about it. Maybe it was a business decision. Maybe it was a relationship decision. Whatever it was, you felt God calling you to do it, and you did it. What happened?
Did it turn out for the better? Or has it turned out yet at all? Maybe all it’s done is make life more difficult for you.
I feel like that’s where I am right now, where I’ve said yes to what God was calling me to do and all it’s done is make more work for me. There’s so much to do and no time to do it in, and on the days I’ve got the time, I’m so exhausted from everything else that’s happening, I don’t have the energy. And in those moments you’ve got to ask yourself how sure you are that God called you to do what you’re doing. Because there’s always the chance you’re getting frustrated because you’re trying to force your way down a path that isn’t meant for you.
But if you’re confident? If you’re certain? If you know without a shadow of doubt that you’re doing what God would have you do, how do you manage? How do you keep hoping that what you’re doing for God is going to be successful when you can barely manage to get your everyday tasks done, let alone the ones God’s called you to?
Today’s verses are Haggai 2:3-5.
‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’
Haggai is one of those little minor prophet books hidden at the back of the Old Testament, so not a lot of people have heard of it. In that portion of the Old Testament, reading the Bible isn’t very much fun. I mean, reading the Bible is always wonderful, but sometimes the content is depressing. And for me, minor prophets are depressing. Because it seems all they do is warn of judgment coming. Over and over and over.
That’s not all they do, but that’s what it feels like.
It’s a broken record. The prophets warn of danger. The people ignore them. God sends judgment. The people beg for help. Over and over and over again. And it’s just so much like America right now, it’s only uplifting for the fact that we’ve got to be close to the end, which means we’re one step closer to going home.
But Haggai was a prophet during the time that a dude named Zerubbabel was trying to rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. I posted some time ago about a guy named Nehemiah, who was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Zerubbabel was his predecessor. And Haggai came to Zerubbabel and Jeshua, his partner in crime, many times with messages from God. That’s what today’s verses are. A message from God to two men trying their best to fulfill their calling.
Think about the path these men agreed to follow. Rebuilding the Jewish temple after it had been annihilated. I’m not going to take the time to go into its dimensions, but the temple was HUGE. It was a massive, intricate structure with so much national significance. It was an enormous responsibility, not only to the people of Israel but also because God had called Zerubbabel to do it.
Take a pile of rocks and turn it into God’s holy temple again.
It wasn’t going to be easy. It wasn’t going to be fast. Not everyone was going to work their hardest, and not everyone even wanted it to happen in the first place.
In our soft American culture, we get this crazy idea from somewhere that when God calls you to do something, it’s going to be easy. And, folks, that’s just not true. If it were easy, anyone would do it. If it were easy, anyone could do it. But God called a Christ-follower to do it so He could give you His power–God’s supernatural power to overcome all obstacles. If God’s going to help you overcome the obstacles, that means the road won’t be smooth.
No, following your God calling isn’t easy. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the temple wasn’t finished in a day. It took a lot of days, long days with hard labor and the impending threat of failure, to complete the work. And that hasn’t changed just because it’s AD 2014 and not 520 BC.
But God’s Word hasn’t changed either. And His instructions are as clear as ever. If you’re sure of your calling, if you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, be strong and get to work, because God is with us.
Whatever you’re doing for God doesn’t depend on your strength. It depends on His. You just have to keep working. You don’t have to be afraid because God is right by your side cheering you on with every step. You know what you need to do. So just do it.
You won’t succeed overnight. You’ re going to have days when you work really hard but you see no noticeable improvement. And in those moments when you’re threatened to despair, remember what God said. Be strong and get to work. He’s with us, so we don’t have to be afraid of failure as long as we follow Him.