Friday, August 7, 2015

A God-Stirred Spirit

There is a verse tucked away at the end of the first chapter in Haggai that, I believe, if we got down on our knees and prayed for this very thing, it would rock our nation. Our world! Revival would happen in every heart, in every home, in every church.

Before I quote the verse, let me give a little background. Haggai was a prophet of the LORD. He and the exiles had returned from Babylon where they'd been held captive for years and years. If you know your biblical history then you know that the Babylonians destroyed King Solomon's beautiful temple before taking the Israelites captive. Now, the children of God have returned to their beloved city and are beginning to rebuild their lives.

But, like most of us, they focused on rebuilding their own homes first. Certainly they needed a place to live and sleep and be, and God no doubt understood they needed to take care of personal business. But eighteen years have come and gone since their return. When are they going to start work on God's house? "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?" God asks in Haggai 1:4, revealing his impatience with their selfishness. Rebuilding the temple, God's dwelling place, was not their priority. And if rebuilding the temple was not a priority, it kinda makes sense that ultimately GOD was not their priority.

(Definitely begs the question: Where are MY priorities?)

"You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is ever warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them in a bag with holes." (Haggai 1:6)

Life, God seems to be saying, will always use up our energy. We will always have bills, always need groceries, always get hungry, always be tired. There will always be problems to deal with. Are those good enough reasons to neglect the LORD? To neglect the LORD'S house?

Something had to change if the LORD'S temple was going to be rebuilt. The Israelites were too self-centered, too tired, to manage it on their own.

And that leads me to the verse that holds the key. The power.

"And the LORD stirred up the spirit  of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua 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." (v.14)

The government, the pastors, and the people. All stirred by God to move!

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we asked God to stir up our spirits the way He stirred the spirits of those folks? Can you imagine how many lives would be changed? How much kingdom work would get done? How much evil would be thwarted? Apathy would be non-existent. Desensitization would be reversed. The orphan would be fed. The poor would be clothed. Churches would be fully funded because everyone would tithe as they should. Huge changes could take place, all because God stirred the spirits of His children.

Beginning today, I am going to pray for that very thing! That God would stir up my spirit, and your spirit! That He would stir the spirits of our pastors and spiritual leaders. That he would stir the spirits of our government  leaders, including those who want to be the next President of the United States. We need men and women in leadership who are stirred up! We need men and women who will listen to God and obey Him (v. 12).

Will you join with me and pray for a mighty stirring throughout the world? Beginning in our own hearts!

This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Japan, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, China, France, Canada

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