Before this COVID-19 flu season started, the Lord had been speaking to me about my ministry changing as far as the direction of my teaching, at least to a degree. At the time, I wasn’t sure what He meant, but I was open to His Spirit leading me as I have tried to do all along. In truth, I did find myself praying even more than normally and I have been a bit more impatient with distractions that keep me from even thinking or meditating on the Lord.
I was inspired to get back into the Old Testament which in all honesty I hadn’t done regularly for almost two years. Oh, I would use the occasional Scripture reference needed to make a point and such, but it had been a while since reading and truly looking into the Old Testament Word. Then, that is when I felt inspired to go to the prophets, the writings of the major and the minor prophets. Let me tell you, my eyes had not seen so clearly when reading them before as they were now. It was almost as if they were mirroring the circumstances and situations going on today in our nation.
Politics aside, I was seeing how much God truly hates sin, corruption and wickedness. Listen, God IS love! There is no denying His Nature and Character, but I do not use the term “He hates sin,” lightly at all. He abhors sin and He cannot, because of His Holy and Pure Nature, be in the presence of sin.
So God opened my spiritual eyes to His unchanging Character and Word in the light of much of the governmental corruption and blatant wickedness we see and then the COVID-19 panic and fear started and right from the beginning, something did not seem right. The timing, the statistics, the confusion, fear and panic and the bowing down to these liberal leaders to follow every little thing they said.
So I continued on my sharing of what the Prophets of old had been writing, not just to the children of ancient Israel, but to any nation that rejected God and chose to live in wickedness. It was like I had all the material handed to me and every time I picked up my Bible, there was something that was speaking to me about our nation and the world as a whole. With a change of a few names and places, it was like looking into a mirror and seeing the image in the Bible reflected back. Now you have to understand, I have known that as much as God’s Nature and Word does not change, sadly, neither does human nature, left unchecked. It is only by the Blood of Jesus Christ and the abiding of His Holy Spirit within a person that human nature CAN be subjected to the spirit of that person.
So I have been sharing a lot of warnings and words of judgement if we AS a nation do not change. As I have stated before, God now works on the hearts of individuals and counts righteousness and unrighteousness individually because of the dispensation of Grace we live in. BUT – He STILL will judge nations for their wickedness, evil and blatant corruption in the face of His warnings. His modern-day prophets STILL speak His Word and more so now that we have them written for posterity!
Which leads me to some GOOD messages from the Lord, especially concerning His children. As I was reading the Book of Haggai, it dawned on me that this wasn’t so much a message to God’s people of warning, though some is implied, as it is messages of hope and renewal and regeneration. The Holy Spirit led me to think about how this applies to us, His children today, since it is not an earthly Temple we worship in.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. (NKJV)
“. . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, . . .” – Ephesians 3:16-17. (NKJV)
“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?'” – Acts 7:48-50. (NKJV)
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1. (NKJV)
We KNOW from so many confirming Scriptures that God’s Spirit dwells in and abides in us through the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus. Our “hearts” are His Temple now and when the veil of the old Temple was rent in two and thus, entrance was made available into the Holy of Holies, it was a sign that the old ways were no longer relevant but that with Christ Jesus’ death a newness of spirit had begun.
However, in this modern age we are living with all of the distractions of life and that fact that our Heavenly Father DOES allow His Spirit to abide within, some of us have neglected the spiritual Temple and this is what the message of Haggai addresses. Let’s not fall into the trap of many that believe the Old Testament has no bearing on the lives of today, for that would be a great disservice to your brothers and sisters as well as to yourselves.
2 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house – the Temple.’”
3 So the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! 6 You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!”
7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going you! 8 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. 9 You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord Almighty, while you are all busy building your own fine houses. 10 That is why the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth has withheld its crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills – a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your cattle and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”
12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people obeyed the message from the Lord their God. It had been delivered by the prophet Haggai, whom the Lord their God had sent, and the people worshipped the Lord in earnest. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!” 14 So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people. They came and began their work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God. (NLT)
As I stated above, it’s easy to get distracted with all the things this life brings a person’s way. But when we have actually surrendered to God through Christ Jesus and His gift of Salvation, being spiritually reborn, having the bondage of the carnal nature subservient, then we have to make the determination to get our priorities right before God. Our Heavenly Father wants us to build up His Kingdom, not our own. This doesn’t mean we have to always be going out and gathering others to His Kingdom though that is a very important part, but we have to make sure that we ourselves are right for the Kingdom living that He has promised us with our renewed spiritual insights.
This is why it is so important to encourage one another. Encouragement breeds enthusiasm, just as in the time of Haggai’s message. Paul, the Apostle put it this way in his writings, “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14. (NKJV) What the Apostle is stating simply, is, encourage one another and continue in it.
God is always faithful in His Word. He is also very longsuffering and patient, often beyond what we can comprehend and understand. When He warns people and nations, we need to heed those warnings for history shows us that He DOES follow through with His Word. The same holds true with His promises. Again, history proves that He follows through with those as well.
Today, those who have been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus and have that Blood painted upon the doorposts of their hearts are God’s children and He truly IS our Heavenly Father, just as He desired from the very beginning. Doesn’t it make sense, that if He is willing and able to abide within each of us and set up His earthly Throne in our hearts, that He deserves a place worthy of our praise and worship?!
Let us be enthusiastic in our living for Him and striving to follow His will within our lives. THAT is the best way to praise and worship, the Living God, Whom we are blessed to call Father!