Perspective. It’s a word that I feel God has been putting on my heart lately. I so often live my life in light of my own perspective and not God’s. I place more importance on the things I want rather than the things He wants. My prayer has been that God would shift my eyes toward Him so that I no longer desire the things of this world (things that I want) but that His desires would become mine.
I was recently drawn to the book of Haggai. Haggai was a prophet who encouraged the exiles (Israelites) who returned to rebuild the temple. In this short yet meaningful book, Haggai warns the people of the consequences of disobedience and speaks of the blessings they receive when they are obedient to God’s word.
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” | Haggai 1: 3-6
The Lord uses the words, “give careful thought” five times in this book. He wanted the people’s perspective to be focused on Him rather than on themselves and their own needs. They were living in their own houses while God’s house lied “desolate.” God wanted His people to shift their priorities and focus on Him.
Has God’s view on this changed today? After studying this book, I was convicted of my own lifestyle. I live my life and worry about the things of the world and often forget to focus my eyes on Christ and what He is doing in this world. In Haggai 1, we see that God wants the people’s first priority to be Him and His temple. He wants them to give careful thought to their ways, respect and give glory to Him, and to obey His commands.
The moment we believe and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells us, thus making our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit of God.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. | 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Now because the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and me, we are to honor God with our bodies and bring Him respect and glory. We are to “give careful thought” in how we speak, think, and act because the Spirit of God is dwelling inside of us. When I do not pray or study His Word, or when I act according to my own desires, I am grieving His Spirit that lives inside of me (Ephesians 4:30).
In the book of Haggai, God wanted His people to understand the importance of building His temple and the blessings that would come from their obedience. In Haggai 2:4-5 we see the Spirit of God brings encouragement and strength to them who obey His commands.
Today, our bodies are God’s holy temple, and we are to use them to glorify His name. The very second Christ dwells in us, it is no longer about us, but about Him and His desires. He has charged us to love and to go into the world and make disciples of Him. We are to honor His Word and follow His commands for us. Haggai teaches us valuable lessons: to obey and follow God’s commands, trust in Him, look forward, and fulfill our purpose in this world.