When someone you love is hurting, it is hard not to feel their pain. I remember a time when I was younger that my dad lost his wallet. He looked so sad as he told me about it. It wasn't losing money that was distressing. He carried little, if any, cash; and credit cards can be easily cancelled. Driver's license can be replaced and back then, before the World Wide Web (yes, I know I'm old!) identity theft was not a big issue. He explained to me that it was the principle of the thing. Of course at the time I didn't understand. But now that I carry a purse with all my necessities neatly tucked away inside (yeah right!), I can understand what he meant. I've lost my purse before. The only way I can describe the feeling is "icky", almost sick to my stomach.
Something that really fascinates me is what the temple actually meant to the Jews. It was more than what we think of our church. They had a special place where God lived. It literally was His house. It was also figurative because we know that God is everywhere. But it is clear that he wanted the Jews to highly value the temple.
Haggai is a short book in the Bible that is about priorities. After the Israelites returned to their land they, naturally began to build houses for themselves. Time went by and they still had not yet begun to rebuild the temple. Everything they did, it seemed proved fruitless. Chapter 2 verse 17 says, "I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me." God knew they needed houses, but without his blessing they didn't get very far. "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1). So the Lord sent His prophet to tell them to get their rumps in gear and get started building what was important.
The Israelites were dumbfounded when their efforts were fruitless. Although obvious to us now, they could not see that because they had decided to put the Lord off, he was removing His hand from their work. The same is true for us today. We all get into slumps. But remember, it is not God who is moving, it is us. We fall away from His word and prayer, and then wonder what went wrong. We watch movies and listen to music full of filth and then wonder why God is not in the room. We'd rather gossip than talk about Jesus and then wonder why God allowed our friend to stab us in the back.
I'm not going to say that we should carry God around with us like a wallet or a purse. The point is, if I'm going to be that upset when I lose a purse which literally has no lasting value to me, how much more should I strive to keep God's word with me always? It is more like an oxygen tank for a person who has trouble breathing. It is that important. They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they carry in their purse or wallet. The same is true for the things we stuff into our brain. You know the average Christian child gets more ideas about drugs, sex, revenge, violence, vanity, etc. forced into their brains via TV, video games, and music than they are offered ideas about God. But, even as adults, when we avoid God, things are going to go terribly wrong. God's word is as important to our Spirit as oxygen is to our lungs. Our Spirit cannot survive without it.
This is an excellent article. How easy it is for us to get so busy (or lazy) that we tend to put off reading the Word and praying. Thank you for reminding us of this very important truth. GOD BLESS YOU