When the nation of Israel returned to Israel after the Babylonian captivity, God instructed them to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple The people, all of them, joyfully undertook the work. They encountered strong opposition during the work and were forced to carry a spear in one hand while working with a trowel in the other. They weren't going to be stopped by the enemy. After a period of time, the walls of the city were completed and the enemy stopped their attacks. At this point, you would think the people of ;Israel would hurriedly complete the building of the temple, the place where God would dwell with His people. Just the opposite happened.
Because the people now felt safe and secure in their land behind the city wall they had built, they then neglected the work of building God's house and pursued building their own lives; building their homes, making money to put in their pockets, acquiring possessions, and planting crops for food for their families.
Good plan? God didn't think so. He had a different plan. He wanted His people to prioritize their time, their resources and their work on completing His temple. How did He get His people back on track? He put holes in their pockets, droughts on their crops and made sure they didn't enjoy their personal home life and their acquired possessions. In a nutshell, He completely and certainly frustrated their plans to build their own lives at the expense of the construction His temple.
Today, we are the temple of God and that temple lies in ruins around the globe. The builders of God's church are no shows. In the West, we have built our walls and enjoy our security and have pursued our own lives as a first priority. Good plan? Get ready to be frustrated.
God's house, His spiritual house needs builders. Warrior builders. A spear in one hand and a trowel in the other. Seeking His kingdom first and letting the other things be added by God. That was Jesus' instruction to us. Same as to the Old Testament people of God in Haggai.
Jesus will not let the gates of Hades overcome the work of the building of His church. Be sure that He will certainly then not let the neglect, leisure, retirement plans and selfish pursuits of His own people stop that work either.
We need to stop doing church and start building one, a global one that fills the whole earth with the glory of God and the likeness of Jesus in a beautiful, strong and holy dwelling place of God.
In the Books of Zephaniah and Revelation, God says He is very near and coming very soon with the complete destruction of mankind. God may not be in a hurry, but He is really passionate and determined about this work being accomplished, that is His glory filling the earth in His Christ like church, before that destruction.
Our sharing in His purpose, His plan and His passion is critical for us having His priorities in our life.