Rebuild my House

Bible Reading: Haggai 1; 2; Zechariah 1:1-6 - Listen to Haggai

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16)

As I read about the ruins of the temple and felt the grief of the Jews as they remembered its former glory, I saw the ruins of my own spiritual life before me. Years ago, my spirit was strong and steadfast, filled with God's glorious presence, overflowing with passion and zeal for the Lord. But the enemy attacked and plundered my soul, until it lay in ruins of disillusionment and defeat.

Years later, God called to me, "Rebuild my house." But I was busy building my own house, providing for my family, preparing for the future, consumed with the cares of life. Oh, I still went to church, involved myself in ministry, gave my offerings and prayed. But my relationship with God was like a comfortable marriage that had fallen into the mediocrity of daily routine and the chaos of survival. There was no time to develop the marriage relationship and strengthen the bond of love; there was never enough time to sit down and listen to his thoughts and dreams. I began to feel as though I was "spinning my wheels," making myself weary with busyness but having little to show for all my hard work. It was as though I earned wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it (Haggai 1:6).

God called again, "Rebuild my house." With earnest persistence, he entreated, "Give careful thought to your ways. Get busy and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why? Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while you are busy with your own house" (1:7-9).

So I began to build. I sought the Lord with all my heart. My hunger and thirst for God's word became unquenchable. I found it as essential to my daily survival as the food and water on my table. I was humbled, delighted and strengthened by the words written therein.

Sometimes, however, the task of rebuilding overwhelmed me. How could I piece together the failures, doubts and cynicism that resulted from years of neglect and despair? How could I ever make anything worthwhile out of the spiritual rubble that remained? But God spoke words of encouragement, "Be strong, and work, for I am with you. My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, and in this place I will grant peace. From this day on I will bless you" (2:4-9, 19).

With the strength he provides and the truth he reveals, I continue to build. With my face turned toward heaven and my eyes fixed on Jesus, his spirit draws near. With the work underway, he entreats me to turn only to him. "Return to me, and I will return to you" (Zechariah 1:3). He has been waiting, all along, for my heart to turn fully to him. He rejoices in my return; he wraps me in his warm embrace; he calms my fears. He helps me build, brick by brick, a house for him in my heart.