TAKING THE TRAINING WHEELS OFF YOUR FAITH
This is what the Lord Almighty says: These people say, “The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.” Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai, “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
A little over 500 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Haggai preached to his people, the Jews. Seventy years earlier they had been taken into exile by the Babylonians. But now, the Persians were in charge, permitting the Jews to return to their homeland of Judea. They undertook the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, and afterwards started to rebuild the Temple. The people from the surrounding areas complained to Persia, fearing the Jews would grow strong and rebellious with their new wall and temple. So, the work stalled. Years passed, until Haggai prophesied for the people to stop “dawdling” in their faith. They had built their houses and planted their fields and vineyards. Now it was time to restore the Temple!
1. List some reasons why God’s people the Jews may have stalled in their work of rebuilding the Temple of the Lord?
2. Do you ever delay or procrastinate when the Lord calls you to follow Him or do His will? What are some of the reasons people today do this?
3. The people had rebuilt their houses and replanted their fields, but the Temple of the Lord was still in ruins, even after years had passed. What does this say about the priorities of the people?
1. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put your desires before the Lord’s commands. Have the faith that, if you put God’s work first, He will guide all your other steps. (see Matthew 6:33)
2. Don’t focus on building your house to the exclusion of building God’s Kingdom. Put God first and He will help you build your home, your family, and your life! (see Psalm 127:1)
3. List the priorities in your life that sometimes take precedence over God’s work in your life, and your work for God. Lay these aside and put the Lord first!
“Dear Lord, I’ve been a spiritual baby for too long. Help me to take the training wheels off my faith and to experience the adventure of a life fully devoted to you.”