1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

HAGGAI - Light My Fire!


You want me to do what, Lord?!

Ever feel like God has called you to do something for which you feel woefully ill-equipped and inadequate? Do you feel daunted and overwhelmed? Does your courage disappear and your determination melt?

Sometimes we look at the things God asks us to do and we say within ourselves, "I can’t."

Sometimes He calls us to do something a ministry, speaking to an unbeliever, go on a mission, give more time and money to His work, lead a Bible Study or small group. Sometimes He asks us to feel something forgiveness for someone, love for an enemy, courage to face a trial, trust in His timing and His ways. Sometimes He pushes us to think in a new wayturning our backs on the values of the world, letting go of pursuing wealth or security, refusing to live in a me-centered way.

Whatever it is – have you ever felt like what God was asking you to do was downright impossible?

A long time ago, about 25 centuries to be exact, a voice was heard – Haggai. He knew what was important and what had to be done, and he challenged God's people to respond.

Haggai was the first of the postexilic prophets. In 586 BC, the armies of Babylon had destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and taken the Israelites captive. In 538 BC, King Cyrus of Persia decreed that the Jews could return to their city and rebuild the Temple.

Oh, they began the work – but opposition and apathy brought things to a standstill. (Ezra 4:4-5)

Haggai called them into action.

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is in two parts. First of all, listen to Haggai's exhortation:

"This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what's happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD." (Haggai 1:7)

At this time, Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Jeshua, the high priest, were key leaders in rebuilding the Temple. They had succeeded in rebuilding the altar, but the work on the Temple itself had slowed.

So, through the words of Haggai, the call has been issued – God has "laid the gauntlet down" so to speak.

What was the response of the people?

"Then Zerubbabel…and Jeshua…and the whole remnant of God's people began to obey the message from the LORD their God…So the LORD sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel…and the enthusiasm of Jeshua…and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God's people. They began to work on the house of their God, the LORD of Heaven's Armies…" (Haggai 1:12, 14)

I find this passage so very interesting.

I love how it says the people *began* to obey. Sometimes it's that very first step that's the hardest, isn't it? Are you like me – looking at the WHOLE thing that God has called me to do – and stopping dead in my tracks because it's JUST. TOO. BIG.

God asks for one simple step forward in obedience.

Just walk forward.

He promises to be a lamp to our feet, and a light for our path. Sometimes that path is lit up just one step at a time. That's OK, just start walking…

That’s the response of the people.

What was God's response?


God sparked the enthusiasm of the people! HE provided the spiritual impetus, and emotional courage, and physical strength to begin the work! HE responded to their obedience with His power.

I am reminded of this verse: "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13)

Yes, God will work in our hearts if we let Him. He will change our desires, and infuse us with His power.

He will be with us – never asking us to do something that He will not enable us to do.

The Israelites began their rebuilding on September 21. On October 17, the LORD sent another message. Listen to it carefully, because He's saying it to us, too:

"Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you…My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised…So do not be afraid." (Haggai 2:4-5)

I am claiming these verses for a particular trial that our family is facing right now. God is calling me to rebuild a stronger faith. I feel woefully ill-equipped and inadequatedaunted and overwhelmed. My courage has disappeared and my determination has melted.

The task of trusting Him seems JUST. TOO. BIG.

However, I will begin to obey. I will take that one, small, *mustard seed* step of faith forward. And I will trust that God will light the path for me – one step at a time.

He will spark my enthusiasm. He will give me the desire and the power to please Him. He will help me be strong.

His Spirit will remain within me – and I will NOT be afraid.

How about you? Do you have any "Temple building" that God's calling you to do? What will be YOUR response?

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. Thxs Sharon for the post...It surely lighted my fire........


  2. Blessings Sharon...

    WOW! Light my fire!!!

    JUST.TOO.BIG! Not sure if it's Haggai or your words that are so powerful. But there's power in this well written message and I'm so glad that you are applying this to your own life and steps. One step of obedience... for mankind.

    Great PROMISE: "Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you…My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised…So do not be afraid."

    So glad that you have broken this down so that it's positive and do-able.

    "When you know Me by this name(Lord Almighty, God of Hosts), when you hope in all that this name reveals about Me, you will hear the message of Haggai. You will live, not to build your house but to build my temple.” (GOD) from
    "66 Love Letters" by Larry Crabb, he continues,
    "You will not learn what I’m saying to you in this letter of Haggai until you realize that the Lord of hosts is a strong tower to which you can run for safety in any circumstance, no matter how discouraging your circumstances may be...
    “Haggai did not realize it, but all of that was in My mind when I spoke through him as the Lord of hosts and told My people to build my temple. My mind is always on My Son. My heart is always consumed by Him and by My people, the church through whom I am revealing Myself to the world.”

    All this to share this key point I read!
    "No matter how discouraged you feel, no matter how little evidence you see of My power, no matter how off course My plan appears to be or how unlikely fulfillment of My promise seems to be, no matter how dark your night or empty your soul, build My temple. I, the Lord of hosts, am speaking.”
    “God, what does it mean for me to build Your temple?”
    “Whatever you do for My sake that involves the sacrifice of self-interest, whatever you do to reveal Me to others when you feel least able to do so, whatever you do that pleases Me at any cost to yourself, that is building My temple.”

    My "temple building" is in my home, in my marriage, in my mission... my 1st response was to fight and then flee and now it's to WAIT and
    believe it or not, be silent, step away and let God WORK.

    Love you Sharon... thanks for allowing God to speak through you and to you and moving forward in obedience, no matter how small those 1st few steps are, they are BIG and valuable to the purpose... Hold on, keep moving and I'm praying and believing... Peggy

  3. Those first few steps are the key to what you can do for God. I have experienced that and the more steps you take the better God makes you strong and soon you are doing what you thought was "the impossible". We are His children and He never asks us to do something that He will not be with us each step of the way.

    Praise God for giving you the strength to begin the journey He wants you to take. The reward will be worth it all.

  4. Haggai is one of my favorite books of the Bible; so much truth crammed into a few pages of holy writ! Begin to obey. You're right. Sometimes those beginning steps are the hardest. I'm searching my own heart in this season to see where my obedience is needed. I feel a bit "lost" as to my next move. Each day is a choice for obedience.

    Praying for you tonight as you struggle through this family situation. Times like these can be so very painful for everyone involved.


  5. Hi Sharon,
    Yes, I agree "The task of trusting Him seems JUST. TOO. BIG." Sometimes having the faith to step out and do what He has called us to do is tough, however He will supply us with what we need. Thank you for this great post.

  6. Thank you for sharing another inspiring post highlighting an Old Testament story. We have so much to learn from them.

  7. Awesome! Thank you for sharing!! Will you consider linking up for Brag on God Friday at www.beholdingglory.com?

  8. Bernice - WELCOME! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it. Please feel free to stop by again. I love that God lit your fire! He has that way with me, too!

    Peggy - Oh, dear one. You always have the BEST words for me. Thank you for your very encouraging thoughts. I just love when God sends a message (again!) through His Old Testament prophets. There are many good lessons to learn from those old "Temple building" days, huh?!

    Alice - Oh, amen! Yes, I often feel so daunted by the task ahead of me. I seem to get paralyzed, and feel tempted to stand still or run away. But as you said, the first step is all God asks, and then God provides the strength for the next and the next and so on...

    Elaine - Thank you for understanding. Yes, the first steps are the hardest. They are the ones that are often started in total darkness, believing that God will light the way as we step out in faith. Such comfort in that when we find ourselves a little *lost* -

    Ken - Thanks, friend. Yes, I often want the supplies before I head out. I want the guarantee that all will turn out OK (at least according to MY definition of "OK"). But, faith is believing that God will provide. And, He always does...

    Charlotte - You're so right. There is SO much spiritual insight and wisdom in the Old Testament. I was delighted to find this *choice* passage in Haggai!

    Laura - WELCOME! Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate your comment. I will consider linking up - will check things out this coming Friday.



"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!