From Survival Mode to Divine Mission (Haggai 1)

Haggai 1

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried, nothing that you did worked? I sure have!

There can be a lot of reasons that this is the case, sometimes it’s just a season, sometimes we need to make a life adjustment. But as I was reading through the book of Haggai recently I realized that there is another reason that you or I might feel discouraged: It could be that we are failing to complete our Divine assignment.

In Haggai 1:6, God said to the Israelites: “You have planted much but harvested little, you eat but are never satisfied. You drink but never enough to be happy. You put on clothes but never have enough to get warm. The wage earner puts his wages into a bag with a hole in it.”

Their situation sounds like a sad country song!

However, God didn’t leave the Jewish people in a state of frustrated confusion. (Thank goodness!)

God told His people why they were not experiencing any success for all their effort. “Think carefully about your ways. Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house, and I will be pleased with it and glorified.” (Haggai 1:8)

In other words, do what I told you to do in the first place and I will take care of your other problems.

Here was the situation. God had delivered His people from captivity and got them safely back home with the instruction to rebuild the temple. But when the people got back to Jerusalem they found it much worse than they imagined and they shifted from their mission into survival mode. They wanted to do big things for God, but they were so busy just getting by day by day that they couldn’t even think about rebuilding the temple.

You know what? I’ve been there and I bet you have too.

I remember leading a small prayer group/Bible study for women in my church during a season of life where I was having babies one after another. I literally went for an entire decade without sleeping through the night even once. I can’t even describe my exhaustion. (All you moms know what I’m talking about.)

Meanwhile, every Tuesday morning my women were counting on me to bring them a word from Scripture and lead them in prayer that our entire church was counting on.

I can’t tell you how many late Monday nights/Tuesday mornings I spent rocking a baby with one hand, searching my Bible with the other, praying that God would give me something to share with my women that would encourage them in their walk with Christ, and wondering how on earth I was going to impart the Word of God to them when I was so tired that I could barely string two sentences of coherent conversation together.

But do you know what? God promised the Israelites that if they just stayed on their Divine task that He would take care of them and He did. I found that to be true also. I kept faithfully leading my small group, exhausted as I was, and God never let me stand in front of them without a Word from him. He took care of the details and He will for you too.