There is an interesting lesson in the book of Haggai. The Jews had just returned from captivity and set to rebuilding the temple. However, once they got the foundation laid, they ran into opposition. As a result they convinced themselves to look after their own needs. Matthew Henry puts it this way:
but, being served with a prohibition some time after from the Persian court, and charged not to go on with it, they not only yielded to the force, when they were actually under it, which might be excused, but afterwards, when the violence of the opposition had abated, they continued very indifferent to it, had no spirit nor courage to set about it again, but seemed glad that they had a pretence to let it stand still.
Do you like that last phrase? “seemed glad they had a pretence to let it stand still”. They were just looking for an excuse to quit.
So, they had been freed from captivity, started to rebuild the temple according to God’s word, then allowed themselves to get caught up in the mundane of life saying things like:
There are times when God calls us to do things. To “rebuild His temple” if you will. We have been brought out of captivity and now it is time to honor Him. But as soon as we hit some opposition, we convince ourselves that “we better look after our own houses” and “evidently, the time isn’t right otherwise it would be easier”. The reality is we are just looking for an excuse to quit.
God has a very straightforward response:
The Jews had said “The time isn’t right to rebuild the Lord’s house.” to which God replied “But the time is right to rebuild YOUR house?” We worship the God of irony.
I have to ask myself, “What is it lately that God has asked, and when I hit some opposition, I turn to myself and never return to His purposes?” A ministry goal? Maybe a professional goal? A relationship that needs mending? How about just some area that is in need of some basic obedience? Those are good questions to ask.
Am I more concerned with living a life of ease, in a “paneled house” as it were, than in serving Him? All because of what? A little opposition? A little failure? Because I swung for the fence only to hear the dull thud of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt?
There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing…or to return to what you know God is calling you to do.