The Livestream on FaceBook last night was fun, it was a new uncomfortable experience and for the most part, I felt discombobulated. Because I was awkwardly holding my phone I felt like I fumbled around and wasn’t able to look at my fresh made notes. They were so fresh that I didn’t feel I communicated it as well as I wanted to. Of course, I always feel this way. But I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and risked failure and showed up. That is a win that I am celebrating this morning.
In my time in the Word today, I came to Haggai Chapter 1.
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”. Haggai 1:7-8 NIV
I am always surprised at the richness I find in the obscure texts of the Old Testament. I know this chapter and love it for the work that God did in my life so many years ago through it. These moments in the living Word of God are like visiting a good friend for coffee, spending time and remembering our first interactions together and then as we talk, we get challenged and encouraged in a whole new way.
“Give careful thoughts to your ways” literally means, “Put your heart on your roads”. It was an ancient Hebrew phrase that means, “Are you headed in the direction you want to be going?”
I am reading a book on the Enneagram right now as well as finishing up the book Soul Keeping with my Department Leads. Both are about discovering the space of the soul and rebuilding that which is broken. They are about inviting God into the sacred space of your most intimate self, where He longs to dwell, and asking Him to bring light where there is darkness, wholeness where there is brokenness and life where there is the stench of death. You know, those things that are long gone but rotting in the corners and bringing disease to the rest of you.
In the time that the verse above was spoken by the prophet, it was a call to rebuild the temple of God that was in ruins. It was a mandate to pay attention to that which had been neglected in the light of prosperous times where they “ate but were not filled”, “made money but put in it pockets with holes” and built lavish homes for themselves. It was a reality at the time as well as a great foreshadowing of the spiritual revolution that Jesus brought upon the world. After the resurrection, the place to meet with God would no longer be a place, it would be a soul. The walls of the Temple with which God, the Almighty Father would dwell would not be made of stone or wood but of flesh and heart, mind and spirit. And it would not be just for a select few but for all who would receive Him in. Suddenly, the Holy One which was separated from us all now longs to come in and dwell within us all, today.
Now, on this side of the cross, “build my house” means to deal with your soul. Look at the state of your heart and allow the Great Holy Spirit full reign to renovate and restore. Why? “So that I may take pleasure in it and be honored”, says the Lord.
It is a reminder to me that God takes pleasure in being with me and wants to be with me. He delights to be in me – this broken and faulty, temporary tent of a body and the “under construction” soul that is mine. He wants me to feel His delight and pleasure. He wants to be honored in my body and in my soul, which I am, in fact, made for. I am made for Him. His love, His joy, His peace, His wisdom, His presence.
So are you.
You are made to have the Holy One dwell in you, take pleasure in you. You. You with all your quirks and uniqueness(es). You are made to be honored by the conscious presence of Himself and allow the weight of His glory to fill you. You are being renovated (recreated) to allow His unrelenting love to transform in every space He dwells.
Yes, Father. Be glorified and pleased in the temple you have chosen to dwell in. It is like the King choosing to dwell in a shack but it is of no matter – do what you please here. I will celebrate Your presence in the midst of my imperfectness. You are amazing, gentle, powerful and wonderful. Thank You for allowing me to experience You as You experience me.
In the Livestream last night, I forgot how I was going to end it. I wanted to look at the phrase, “we will share in all that belongs to Christ” in Hebrews 3:14. The verse says, “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” NLT
When we choose to trust God in the face of uncertain and fear-filled circumstances we have access to unprecedented power. When we hold tight with perseverance to the faith and hope that was born when we were first captured by His amazing grace and captivated by His unending love shown to us through Christ, we share in “all that belongs” to Him.
And what do we share in Jesus (or I should say, what does He share with us)?
In His trust in God the Father
In His faith in God the Father
In His suffering
In His death
In His resurrection
In His victory
In His plan
In His power
In His intercession for all
In His work
In His glory
In His destiny
(which means “so be it”).
In Jesus Name….amen.
– Pastor Cindy Grasso