Several weeks ago I shared with you a bible study I’d attended on the book of Haggai called Why Can’t This be Easier? In it, I talked about how the Israelites were instructed by God and then challenged by His prophet Haggai to rebuild God’s temple. One of the things that kept them from rebuilding that temple was the fact that they got busy rebuilding their own homes and lives.
Now you might think, what’s wrong with that? Didn’t they need a roof over their heads? Didn’t they need to live? Did God really need that temple built to His exact specifications before all those other important parts of their lives?
Of course, those other things were important too. God has given us life and no gift should be wasted. But how fulfilling can that life be without Him who gave us life?
If you’ve read the New Testament then you know that the temple was an especially sacred place. It was the only place that God’s people could commune with Him (that is until He sent His son and gave us direct access to our Father.) If you think of it that way, doesn’t rebuilding the temple have a whole new meaning?
When I read this chapter it became clear to me that I am the temple. God, through His son Jesus, is directly accessible to me through prayer and also directly accessible to others by my example of living in His word. That means I must put Him first in all that I do.
This bible study inspired me to begin a new habit with my Red Rope Prayer Journal. Before this I was ending each day on my knees writing my prayers and intercessions to my Lord. But why should this be the last thing I do each day? Instead, I now try to make my journal prayers the first thing I do before setting off on my day. If my temple, my soul, is renewed daily, then how much closer am I able to make my Lord present in all I do?
I start the day with praise and thanksgiving for Him who gave me all that I have. Even on the hard days, in the hard times, I know there are more than enough reasons to praise God. And after I praise Him, I seek His help, His guidance, His comfort and care for my loved ones. Each word of joy, word of worry and pain, each name that I write on those pages becomes a stone in His temple. And its only after I’ve built the dwelling place for Him am I ready to go out and live.
Dear Father God, thank you so much for giving us a temple in our hearts so that we can speak to you with all our praise and needs. You fill us in ways we can never comprehend and prepare us daily for a life that is brighter because of our relationship with you. Some of us are hurting, some of us are afraid, some of us are in dark places. But if we build that temple inside us where we can commune with you, the light of your Son can brighten our way. We ask all the things in your name, precious God. Amen