Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Temple

One of the things I planned to do on my "vacation" this week was go to the gym. My plan was to go ahead and get over the soreness that comes with the first few workouts. I do want to care for the body God gave me and I want all my muscles to work properly. I want to be strong and healthy.

Afterall, the body is the Temple of the Lord, right? 

In the book of Haggai, the minor prophet tells God's people that the time has come to finish the temple. 

God's people started to rebuild the Temple of the Lord, but lost interest.......

Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"

So my first thought is..."How often have I done this?" If The Temple of the Lord is now my body rather than a building....then how often have I built up ther things while the Lord's house remains a ruin?

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

Again, I see myself in these words. I have worked HARD for things that delivered little in the end. I have tried so many different things to find contentment and satisfaction, only to be left empty feeling. I do understand the feeling of "never enough". I want bigger, better, more exciting, more, more, more....but it is never enough.....or at least that is the way i WAS. I discovered the cure for this spiritual ailment. It is indeed a spiritual issue, ya know. I FINALLY realized that there is so much more to being a Christian than simple professing to be one. There is more to the Christian life than the promise of Heaven. There is a lifetime here to live for Christ and to tell others about Him.

7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. 9 "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 his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

So, what happens when I live for me? I come up empty. i am left unfulfilled. I am not satisfied. i want more. I am antsy and irritable and uneasy. Everything in me knows that something is wrong when I am living for me.

12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, 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.

Like the people on the Old Testament, when I accept that God's word is TRUE, I "fear" Him. Not fear like I fear a stranger in the Wal Mart Parking lot. Perhaps the same sort of "fear" that I have for a doctor. I trust that my Lord knows what is best for me and if i want to get well spiritually, I must do what He says. Just like when I am physically sick, I know to do what the Doctor tells me. Maybe that makes sense. Bottom line is that when I realize that I am out of Step with God, I DO know that the best medicine for my soul is to go to Him, spend time with Him and get back in line with his plans for me.

13 Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: "I am with you," declares the LORD. 14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

And WHAT did that say? When the people turned back to God and did what HE said......WHAT did God say?
That's right...."I AM WITH YOU"

Finally, I have learned over and over and over that there are no limits to the Love of God. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. He does not sleep. He has proven himself worthy of my service and dedication and unwavering devotion. When I am seperated from Him, it is not because He left ME. Rather, it is ALWAYS because I decided to build my own house rather than His temple. When I am focused on God and on using my life and my thoughts and my body to serve Him. I am full and fulfilled. When I decide to do things for myself and "build my own house" is never, never, never enough.

When I find myself yearning for more, unfulfilled, or otherwise restless, I am WISE to check my heart and see what my focus is. Another way God shows His love for me is giving me the longing in my soul to be near to Him. When I am seperated from him, i feel it.....and I want Him back.

So, I am building the the gym, at home, in Bible Study and Quiet time, in caring for the family He has entrusted to my care, I am serving Him and walking with him and feeling very full and content and.....satisfied.


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