Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DECEMBER 20 "JUST HOLD ON GOD, I'LL BE RIGHT WITH YOU!"

     I DON'T know to many people that would be so bold as to tell God, to "just hold on a minute" and then to keep Him waiting for days, weeks, months and some even years.  We are much more diplomatic about it, we simply say to ourselves, "now is not the time".  In Haggai we read about God's people doing exactly so.  They do not say that they don't want to or don't have interest in building another temple, they simply justify that "it's not the right time".  It's not that I don't want to go overseas, but "it's not the time".  It's not that I don't want to get involved, it's just that "it's not the time".   It's not that I don't want to forsake all and follow you, "it's just not the time".  When the kids are older, when my finances are better, when my marriage is better, when I pay off some debt, when I get my act together, but yet we manage to have time for our purposes, but not God's.  In Haggai we read, “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”  3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
     Time, time, time....I would say "time" is best described by "an allocated window of opportunity to get something done".   Time is not still, time is not eternal (on earth) and time is not at our disposal.  Even Solomon wrote, "there is a time for everything under the sun".   In our text the people said, "now's not the time" and God says, "yes it is, if not now then when" (my interpretation).  "Okay, so how do I know when the time is NOW?", you may ask.   Well, I do believe that God is faithful to impress upon us that inclination.  Just as God has not left women to guess for themselves when the time of childbirth is due, so He has not left us to ourselves to guess.  The woman will feel severe urgings and birth pangs, that whether she wants to or not, will drive her to the hospital and many times, just in time for the baby to be delivered.  And if we who claim to know Jesus cannot discern these birth pangs than I would say our communication with God has been short circuited.  These people in our text have felt the urging, the prompting to rebuild God's temple, they simply have put it off for their own affairs.  We have all been guilty at one time or another of putting off the affairs of God to pursue our own.  And we have felt God's hand against us the whole time.  Listen to what God speaks to these people, He is basically saying, in essence, "are you so dense, that you cannot see that all this is my doing" (sorry, my translation, now here's the real translation) Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 
     A woman and man have a window of opportunity (a time) to have children and after so many years that window of opportunity (that time) passes.  Many woman now are trying to have children in their late thirties and early forties, after they have pursued their dreams, their goals only to find that they have passed their opportunity to be fertile.  Could it be that after we are done pursuing what we want we will then turn to God and say, "okay I'm ready, now is the time" but  He will say, "no the time has passed for that". Would we have the audacity to tell God, "just hold on a minute, I'll be there in a sec" and to make matters worse, never open the door? Of course not, we simply justify "now's not the right time to do this".
     I embarrassed to say that many Christians are spending their time binding the devil when it is really God they are fighting.  Could we be so dense? Of course we could.....or perhaps not dense, but self deceived.  Perhaps you are fully convinced that NOW is not the time, but God has been dealing with you otherwise.  With these people, their crops had failed, they were broke, nothing was working but they never make the  connection, NOW is the time to build God's temple.  Today would be a good day to consider this.....are you in a trial? Or are you simply fighting God?  Do you have time for "your house" but not God's?  If so, you may want to reconsider who the antagonist is in your life.  Jesus told Paul, "why do you kick against the goads, it is I (Jesus) you are persecuting (or fighting).  What a revelation that must have been to Paul.  What a revelation it must have been to these people that God, was the reason for their failing crops and dwindling finances, who would have thought???
But that's what we need to do, ..."think" where have I been disobedient, when or what has God prompted me to do that I ignored and/or forgot about? Is there anything?  What did God deal with me about that I simply dismissed "now is not the time" and moved on, but yet God has not moved on!  He is still waiting.  “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”   Only you can answer this question for yourself.  What is it time for right now at this juncture in your life?  In your mind and self absorbed nature you may say, "it's time for this", but God may say, no, it's not time for that, it's time for ____________ " (and you fill in the blank!)