The Christian life is progressive.
We go from glory to glory and from faith to faith (see 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 1:17).
We put our hand to the plow and we don’t look back (see Luke 9:62).
And it’s this characteristic of the kingdom, along with what I believe the Lord has been talking to me about for the past four months, that leads me to believe that the latter glory of the house will be greater than the former glory (see Haggai 2:9).
Using the story of the condition of Israel and the house of God following their Babylonian captivity, I want to paint a prophetic picture of where we find ourselves today.
The word of the Lord came to a prophet named Haggai.
Haggai was given the task of declaring to both Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the high priest, that it was time for the temple of God to be rebuilt.
The house of the Lord was in shambles.
It was in ruins as a result of the siege of the Babylonians and no one in Israel seemed to care.
Everyone was concerned about their own house while God’s house was laid waste.
As a result, God used Haggai to stir up the spirit of both Zerubbabel and Joshua, and the spirit of the remnant that remained.
In an effort to awaken them from their slumber and provoke them to action, God has Haggai utter these sobering words: “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?” (Haggai 2:3).
Let’s take these words of the prophet and put them in a context that we can relate to today.
Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, people are now privileged to be the temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19).
In other words, God has left the building.
He does not dwell in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24).
Rather, He chooses to dwell in temples He’s made with His own hands — ones He knit together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13).
It was these temples that were first inhabited by the glorious presence of God on the day of Pentecost.
In the same way that the glory of God filled the temple Solomon built when 120 priests stood blowing their trumpets (see 2 Chronicles 5:12), the glory of God through the person of the Holy Spirit filled the 120 that were gathered in an upper room while waiting on the promise of the Father (see Acts 2:1-4).
Sadly, the temple of God was a mere shadow of its former self in the day of Haggai and the glory that once filled it had become a distant memory.
Its current state did not resemble its former state.
The same could be said today.
The glory of the church today pales in comparison to the glory she had experienced on the day the Spirit was poured out.
And it is my conviction that God is stirring up the spirit of His people today in the same way He did in the days of Haggai.
I believe God is agitating us, convicting us to cry out for a greater baptism in the Spirit — to see the glory of the Lord fill the house again.
He’s using prophetic voices to awaken us from our slumber… to see the true condition of what lies before us so that we might come together with one voice and humbly pray for the promise of the Father to be poured out in a greater measure.
Haggai goes on to say the following words to the people: “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘THE LATTER GLORY OF THE HOUSE WILL BE GREATER THAN THE FORMER,’” says the Lord of Hosts. (Haggai 2:6-9).
Let’s face it… What can be shaken is being shaken right now.
All sorts of things are being exposed.
And it’s this shaking that precedes this marvelous promise that the best is yet to come!
Remember when the wine ran out at the wedding in Cana?
What did Jesus do?
He told the servants to fill six water pots with water.
After they had obeyed His command, they took the contents of the water pots to the headwaiter and upon tasting it, he discovered that the water had been turned to wine and that this new wine was greater than the wine that had run out (see John 2:10).
And it is my absolute conviction that the best wine is about to be poured out.
In the same way that those water pots were created to contain water for the Jewish custom of purification, you and I were created to be filled with the Spirit of God.
Now more than ever, we need to be completely intoxicated with the Holy Spirit.
The church is at her best when she’s the most inebriated.
Don’t forget that when the Spirit of God was first poured out, the onlooking mockers said that the 120 were filled with ‘sweet wine’ (see Acts 2:13).
Fresh or new wine is always sweet.
What they were ultimately saying was this: “They are filled with new wine.”
On the day of Pentecost, God did a new thing… but that wine has all but run out.
The glory of the church today looks nothing like the glory of the church in the book of Acts… but the latter glory is about to supersede the former glory.
New wine is about to be poured out.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
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