Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Blessings and Favor of God

There have been several instances lately where I have entreated the blessings and favor of God.  Desperately petitioning Him for one thing or another.  Knowing that though I do not always remain faithful, God does. The truth is God blesses those who walk in faithfulness and thus the WORD He has given me for this season. Let’s first look at Haggai Chapter 1:5 & 6, “Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways”! “ You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Remember the Israelites had come back from exile and were to build the Temple of the Lord, only they had become discouraged, uninterested and dissatisfied. So, they had gone back to building their own paneled houses.

Is that where you are today? All too often we let lack dictate what we will give to God – whether lack of time or resources, and especially financial resources. Sound all too familiar? I love being around people who have the favor and blessings of God on their lives. They have a settled peace about them, their walk is steadfast and you can always depend on them to be strong and joyful. The truth is, when we are putting God first in everything, He will supply all we need. The word of the Lord for this season is Haggai 1:13,14. “Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.” So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.” The Lord wants to stir us up. He wants to awaken us, excite us, arouse us to action and open our eyes in this season.

If you have ever done any cooking, you know that when you are asked to pour another ingredient in the mix, it almost always says; keep stirring.  If the recipe calls for stirring, it’s so that nothing stays at the bottom, or floats on the top, or is allowed to separate itself from the rest of the other ingredients. We must come together again and be refreshed.  The Lord wants to stir up our cold hearts and give us a renewed desire for doing His will today!  Unfortunately we all fall asleep so easily, we get lulled by the mundane. But the Lord would say, in Haggai Chapter 2:4, “Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts. 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!” The word work here means, in it’s broadest sense and widest application, accomplish, advance, bring forth, be busy, commit, journey, advance and bring forth, make, be occupied. Be a warrior, a workman…

So often when we run into hard times, have difficulties and discouragements, we slowly loose interest and we stop reading our bibles, we stop seeking Him for the right answers, we stop praying fervently and then we have stopped, building our temples. When we let this happen, we loose the blessings and favor of God in our lives. When we put God first, His blessings and favor abound. Our vineyards grow, our grapes are abundant, we sleep peacefully, and our enemies cannot prevail against us. When our lives gets wrapped up in money, suddenly our interest overwhelm God’s interest and we're robbing from God to do for ourselves; only to be left empty.

Think about it, this is what is happening in America today, our country has so much, yet we have so little satisfaction. We are a people consumed with self. Self pride, self ambition, self helps, and on and on…We are a people wondering in darkness and confusion, so God has removed Himself from us because we have taken Him out of everything! We are no longer a country “Blessed by God!"

So how do we get back? We must first stop comparing ourselves with others. It brings hopelessness and inferiority – you are special and chosen, and there is none like you… Let’s go back to Haggai in chapter 2 verse 6 thru 9. “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations,[b] and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”  God promises to once again fill us with His glory, He reminds us that He owns all the silver and gold – He is our supply. Then He reads our hearts, He knows what we have seen in our past, so He reminds us that that His latter glory will be greater than His former glory…..and then comes His promise of peace.

There is one more piece of business He addresses before He promises His blessings. We must remove the dead things, or the defiling things in our lives. What are you putting your hand to that is unclean? In chapter 2 verses 12 thru 14 it says, “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy? Then the priests answered and said, “No."  And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.” Then Haggai answered and said, “‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.”

Blessings and favor do not come until what we are offering the Lord of ourselves; our bodies, our temples are undefiled and clean. Let’s hearken to the Word of the Lord in this season and restore ourselves back to the blessings and favor of God.  Believe God to have hand made everything you need.  In 1 Kings 6: 6b thru 7 "when Solomon was building the Temple –they made narrow ledges around the outside of the temple, so that the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple. And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. I'm taking a bit of liberty here in this scripture because just as Solomon means peaceful, our temples can remain peaceful too while the building takes place for us on the outside.  The Lord has excavated things so well to build us up with, that His peace and stillness remain on the inside; and where the peace of God is, there too will be the Blessings and Favor of God.

Daina House