One of the benefits of prophetic ministry is found in the fact that it grants the body of Christ the ability to both understand the times and seasons we both find ourselves in currently and will soon be facing and how we are to respond to them.
And all I can say is this: The TIME is NOW.
There is no other way to say it.
The alarm is ringing.
Sugar coating it won’t sweeten this season’s potency.
Watering it down will not cause what’s being asked of us to go down any easier.
It’s time for the temple of the Lord to be rebuilt.
Shortly after the Israelites who were taken captive by Babylon and forced into exile were released to go back home to Jerusalem, a prophet by the name of Haggai was given the task of awakening the people by confronting their priorities.
Rather than being concerned with the condition of the house of the Lord that laid in ruin, they became concerned with their own dwellings.
Rather than stepping up to the task of rebuilding the temple, they decided to restore their own homes.
And rather than fearing and obeying the Lord, they sought after their own way and did what was right in their own eyes.
As a result, the word of the Lord came by Haggai saying to the people, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” (see Haggai 1:4).
Because the house of the Lord laid in ruins, the glory of its current state paled in comparison to the glory of its former state (see Haggai 2:3).
And it’s for that reason and that reason alone that the temple must be rebuilt.
The absence of the glory or presence of God is His judgment against our ways that must be considered.
How we live and what we give ourselves to is important.
What we fear or reverence will always determine what we worship.
What we surrender to will decide what we are filled with.
It’s because of the current condition of our individual temples and corporate gatherings that are meant to house the presence of God that the Lord is sending His prophets on assignment with three simple, but very powerful words in their mouths:
Our ways determine the level of glory we enjoy in our individual lives and corporate gatherings.
What we value, as well as our motives, matters.
And God… right now… is wanting us to take inventory of where we are in light of where we’ve been.
In other words, it’s time that we measure the current level of glory we are enjoying as God’s people against the glory that was enjoyed among the members of the early church.
I’m sure we’d all agree that it seems like nothing in comparison.
The glory of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit left people in a state of awe in the book of Acts.
It resulted in signs and wonders being the norm.
It produced radical generosity.
It took fearful men that were capable of denying Jesus at first and made them bold witnesses that were willing to die for Him.
It led to people being devoted to the apostles’ teaching and to things like prayer, fellowship, and taking communion together.
God is wanting to use this correlation between the current and former glories to provoke and agitate us into action in the same way that the words of Haggai stirred the spirit of the people to begin the rebuilding process.
It’s important to note, however, that this temple isn’t rebuilt through our heading to the mountains to gather cedar.
Rather, it’s rebuilt through the hammer of repentance… the nails of humility… and the work of prayer.
More than anything else, God is looking for those that care about the current state of the church and the current state of their own individual lives.
He’s looking for those that are longing for a greater baptism in the Spirit and for those that are willing to fully submit to Him.
He’s looking for the agitated ones… the ones who are no longer ok with where they are and what they are able to demonstrate per the gospel.
He’s looking for those that see their need for more and are willing to be made low in order for that need to be satisfied.
But in order for us to see our need, our ways must be considered.
We must measure the current glory of the church against the glory of our predecessors.
Then and only then will we see the glaring discrepancy that’s meant to cause us to humble ourselves and pray so that the latter glory of God — which is to be greater than the former glory — will once again fill the temple.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
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