Post by the Husband
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Haggai 1:12-14 – The People Obey the Lord
“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God,”
Getting closer to 40, I have realised a few sobering things about life.
Firstly, life is shorter than I thought it would be.
Secondly, I have a serious lack of will-power for significant changes in my life.
In this story of the Israelites who have returned home from Babylon, they had already been rather apathetic for 14 years about building the temple. But within 24 days they were starting the rebuilding project again.
How did they go from apathetic to motivated in such a short period of time having been dormant for so many years?
I believe there are three key ingredients for any significant changes to occur and be fruitful in a person’s life.
Each one of these is NECESSARY but not SUFFICIENT on its own. You need all three for a true change to occur.
1. The Word of God
Yes, the Bible is the word of God. But the Spirit of God is able to take the Bible and highlight the portions of scripture that are pertinent to us at a particular time. The revealed word of God is necessary for a real inward transformation of the soul.
We can memorise scriptures, gain head knowledge, but specific scriptures for specific times can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit.
So for example, you may know that verse about prayer, but when there is a point in time when you really need to pray, the Holy Spirit may bring to your memory Ephesians 6:18 that says “Keep on praying in the spirit”, and suddenly you are motivated to pray continually.
2. An Obedient Posture
I use the word posture here because obedience is not just a one off event.
We may “obey” 9 of the 10 commandments, but if we break one, we are actually being disobedient. So yes, I may not steal, but if I kill, then not having stolen doesn’t really help.
If we hear a specific word from the Lord, say He impresses on me to go to another country to dedicate my life to missions, if I don’t have an obedient posture, then that word is useless to me. If I don’t obey it, then it was just an idea.
But is having a word that I know is from God, and having an obedient heart enough to do what God wants me to?
So say, I hear from the Lord, “Go to China for 10 years to be a missionary”, and I’m obedient and then start learning Chinese, gathering information about missions etc… would that be enough for me to go there to be an effective missionary?
3. The Holy Spirit’s Role
Without the anointing, which is the enablement of the Holy Spirit, I may as well just stay in my home country. There is no point going all the way to China if the Holy Spirit does not enable me to do His will. To become an effective missionary, I need not just the approval of the Spirit to be a missionary, but I need the anointing of the Spirit. I need the filling of the Spirit. In another word, I am dependent on Him to actually achieve anything in that word that He’s given me.
So there you go – sometimes we get excited about doing God’s work because of our own emotion rather than having heard from God. Then other times we may actually hear from God, but neglect to carry out His word because of a hardened, disobedient heart. And finally, even with an obedient heart and an amazing word from God, we falter because we have not been empowered by the Spirit — we attempt work in the flesh.
Shall we pray:
“Father, please bring true change in my life by your specific word for me, by the power of your Holy Spirit and with a contrite and obedient heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen”
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