- Ezra 3:1-4:5
- Ezra 4:24-5:1
- Haggai 1:1-2:23
“’Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” –Haggai 1:7-9, ESV
Whose house am I building? As I delay n completing this year of studies, whose house am I building? Some of the delays were unavoidable, some of them not. But in that time, the focus, the purpose, the building…whose house am I building?
This is my question posed to me. So often I challenge you all, and in the process challenge myself. After all, you cannot give what you do not have. I cannot teach anything I do not understand myself. But this one, may I be so selfish, this is an external consideration of my own motivations, my own steps, my own fears. Because fear has been such an entanglement for me…my whole life I have feared things that cannot harm me. Romans proclaims this clearly:
“…If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8: 31, 33-39, ESV
If I believe the Bible is true. And if I believe that nothing came to Job, who we can all admit had it rough there for a bit, but nothing came to him without God’s permission, then what on earth or of the accuser do I have to fear? Nothing.
Back to Haggai: Consider my ways. Investigate them. Analyze them. Cross-examine them like the fiercest of prosecutors. To dig out all the junk, all the fear, and all the accuser’s contributions to the internal dialogue in my head. To expose them to the Light that they may disintegrate like the Wicked Witch of the West when doused with a bucket of water. For they cannot stand up to the Light of Christ. The perfect One who sacrificed His own life; that kind of love cannot be out-gunned by any paltry excuse for an accusation hurled by the father of lies.
Consider my ways. Not to go all sackcloth and ashes, but to expose all to the Light. And that which remains is that which will endure. That which will endure can only come from God. Putting my focus on Him that He may produce enduring results is worth everything I have, which all came from Him in the first place.
There’s my own lesson for the day. Thanks for reading. You may go back to your regularly scheduled study.