I have a question for you all today; whose house are you building?
When you look at your life and all the choices you have made, all the passions you have pursued, whose house are you building? Do your choices reflect God and the furthering of His kingdom or are they focused on you and the plans you have for your life. Are you using your time to build a name for yourself or is your life building up God’s name?
Today I opened up my Bible to the book of Haggai. I’m currently reading through the old testament prophets and Haggai was the next one. Haggai is only two chapters so it didn’t take me long to read through all of it. It’s a very short book and I honestly didn’t think I’d pull much truth out of it. But as I began reading I started to see many truths and connections pop out at me. And I want to share with you some of what God was speaking to me through this little book in the Bible.
In the first few verses of Haggai God has a message to his people and He tells them to stop and consider their ways. The time has finally come for them to begin rebuilding the Lord’s temple;
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord.“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.Therefore, because of you, the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” (Haggai 1:7-11)
The temple of the Lord that Solomon had built had been destroyed and God spoke through the prophet Haggai the message to rebuild the temple. But first God is telling his people to consider their ways. He is saying to them that nothing they set out to do will succeed because they failed to listen and obey. While the Lord’s house sat in ruins, the people were busy working on their own houses and not heading God’s commands.
This is a sad condition to be found in before the Lord. I can only imagine the shame to people of God must have felt. Here they were, God’s chosen people. They are loved by God and God has given them everything they need. God has asked them to build His house but instead, they focus on their house and their life. Building their house was more important to them than building the house of the Holy and Almighty God who saved them.
As I read I began to feel the conviction set in my heart. How often do I also spend my time and my efforts into building my house. Each day I try hard to make a name for myself and to make my life live up to all of my expectations. All my effort is pouted into making my life, well, my life. But what about God’s house? What about all the things God has asked me to do? the reality is that I am only here on earth because of God. Yer, I don’t head His voice like I should. Like the Israelites, I care more about my house, my plans.
Oh, how it must hurt God to see me, His child, chasing after my plans and my dreams. Spending all my time building up my house and my reputation, when He is the one who deserves all the glory. I exist to worship Him. God has asked me to build His house, not my house, and I have failed him so many times.
God has given me a command. the same command as the Israelites. He has asked me to build His house and that is the purpose of my life here on earth.
Dear reader, this call goes out to you as well. Our purpose here on earth is not so that we can chase our dreams, have successful lives, and pursue fun. No, my friend, this is not so. God has a purpose for each of His children and for our lives here on earth. God has asked us, just like the Israelites to build his house. In the great commission, God says – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19-20) We are to go out and tell all the world about Jesus. Our role here on earth is to tell others about the truth. This means that our life on earth is not about us, but about furthering God’s kingdom!
When you consider your life, are you like the Israelites, building your own house, and ignoring the call that God has given you? I know that I have found myself there many times. Even today as I write this, I am ashamed of all the chances I have missed because my focus was not in the right place. But the Lord never stopped crying out to the Israelites. Finally, they heard and they listened. The next verse in Haggai says;
“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.” (Haggai 1:12)
The people turned back to the Lord, they feared the Lord, and they build His house. If we ever find ourselves chasing after our own desires and building our house instead of the Lord’s house. We can be thankful that our God is a God who gives us grace. He always gives us the chance to start over and begin building again.
So, as I end this post, I want to simply ask the question; whose house are you building? If you are not building the Lord’s house, you are building a house that will not last. You are storing up treasure here on earth that will not remain with you when eternity comes. When the Lord calls us all home someday, what will we show him? All the things we’ve done for ourselves, or all the ways we have striven to further his kingdom and build his house.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Oh, how I long for God to look on my life and be pleased with how I chose to spend my time. I would rather I live a poor, lonely life, that proclaims the gospel to this world than have all the good things of this world and hear the Lord say I could’ve done more for Him. I want to build the Lord’s house and I pray each day that He will help me choose Him.
It is my hope and prayer that you too will be building the Lord’s house.