How do we do when our zeal for God's work begins to fade?
[Darris McNeely] It’s been nearly thirty-six years ago in the United States – in the state of Oregon – when Mount St. Helens erupted. It was a massive volcanic blast. Some say that it was the largest such event – natural event like that – in the history of the United States, certainly. Devastation took place miles and miles around the location of Mount St. Helens. Fortunately, for the size of the disaster and the event, only about a hundred people were killed because there was a lot of warning in advance that that was going to happen.
Mount St. Helens was a natural disaster in that, in the aftermath, despite the destruction that took place, led to something that happens in nature when such an event takes place, whether it’s a forest fire, a volcanic eruption like this – life goes on. In fact, life comes back and life is renewed. And that’s what happened, and is happening, in the years since. Life continues to come back. New life. It doesn’t completely stop.
There’s a lesson there. There’s a lesson for us to understand when it comes to how God works with us and the renewal that can come when we consider our ways. We’ve been talking about the message that God sent through the prophet Haggai to His people, the Jews, in the ancient world as they had gone back to rebuild the city and the temple in Jerusalem. God had to first remind them to consider their ways. We talked about that last time.
The second point of the message that God sent through the prophet Haggai is told in chapter 1 and verse 13, where through the prophet God says, “’I am with you,’ says the Lord” (Haggai 1:13). And what happened in that particular instance, as he recounted that – God says, “I am with you”. The people responded.
What’s an interesting side note to the story is that from the time that God sent Haggai to first say, “Consider your ways”, and then to encourage them that “I am with you”, there’s a period of about 3 weeks as Haggai gives this message in the streets and in the yards and homes and places of Jerusalem at that time. In three weeks’ time, the people experienced a renewal, a revival. Where they had been sort of discouraged and depressed, they now were revived and they finished the work of rebuilding the temple. And it took three weeks to get them back to the job with their chisels, their hammers, their axes, to get the job done and complete it within a few months after the renewal of that work.
Sometimes we need to have a little bit of a shake take us to a point where we can consider our ways and to understand that God is with us. That can renew us. That can revive us in our own personal lives to address the needs that need to be looked at, changed, overcome, developed in our own lives and our spiritual relationship with God – maybe our relationship even with our families and within our friends and our own personal view of ourselves and life. Know that God is with us. It can lead us to a revival. It can lead us to a renewal. The message of Haggai has something to say to us today. Consider your ways. God says, “I am with you”. We’ll come back in part three of this series and we’ll talk about a third point that God said to the people that helped them to get the job done, and it can help you and I as well.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.