By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Take courage and work
Placeholder Image
“Take courage and work” -Haggai 2:4

The book of Haggai tells the story of how the Jewish people needed encouragement to continue doing what God had called them to do. The temple—the house of God, a symbol of God’s presence had been built during King Solomon’s reign years before but in 586 B.C. It was destroyed by the armies of Babylon. In 538 B.C. God called the Jewish people back to their homeland of Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and while they initially responded to the call, they soon became distracted with their own needs and forgot their original purpose for being in Jerusalem at that specific time. They eventually became so concerned with their own homes, needs and personal desires that their values and priorities shifted from pleasing God to pleasing themselves. As the people gradually set down their working tools, the call to rebuild the temple came to a halt.

Eventually God sent the prophet Haggai to set the unfocused bunch straight with this rebuke. “You hope for so much but get so little. And when you bring it home, I blow it away—it doesn’t last at all. Why? Because my temple lies in ruins and you don’t care. Your only concern is your own fine homes.” (Hag. 1:9)

Immediately the people in the land recognized that they had strayed from God’s plan and began to worship God wholeheartedly. Then I love what God says next in chapter 2. Now that their eyes have  seen opened and their focus back on Him, He doesn’t sugar coat it, He says plan and simple, “Take courage and work.” In other words, God was saying, I understand you lost your way but realize that my original call and plan is still in effect. No new plan, no new word. Not quite yet. God was saying, “Hey kids, play time over, get back to work and do what I’ve called you to do. Build the temple and finish the job.”

How many times have we felt a stirring in our heart to do something? Something that we thought deep down was God’s will. We start out strong, focused and determined but as daily challenges arise, as our own needs and desires mount, our priorities gradually shift. Before we know it, we are no longer doing what we believed God was nudging us to do. We are focused on our own “things”, responsibilities and issues. If you’re like me, when you finally do recognize that you’ve allowed your priorities to shift you begin to seek advice and counsel from friends and family as to what you should do. You begin to ask God direction and guidance as if He’s going to give some new revelation as to what you should be doing with your life at that specific time. Funny thing though, that while we have a huge tendency to get sidetracked from God’s plan, He never veers off the path. While we are sitting around waiting for some new direction to get us back on God’s path, His calling, purpose or assignment for us is exactly the same as it was prior to us become consumed with our own things. Whatever God called us to do is exactly what He calls us to complete.

For the Jewish people at that time, their assignment was to rebuild the House of God. God did not move on to another plan until the original one He called them to do was complete. For us it may not be rebuilding a temple but it may be something as simple as transferring to a different department at work, joining a bible study group, sharing your faith story with a specific neighbor, perhaps it’s learning a foreign language for purposes only God understands. It’s not always big things but the little, every day things that God is nudging us toward for His purpose. Those little god-assignments is exactly what He is asking us to complete. Until we do, the plan won’t change so we might as well take courage and work toward whatever it is God is nudging us to do.

Take some time in prayer and reflection today, I mean real time and ask God if you have completed the last task(s) He called you to do. If you sense that you have, then ask Him how you may best serve Him next. But if not, ask God for a refreshed vision of His original assignment and the courage to get working.

Send comments to: