Summary: I believe it is God’s desire for His church to begin seeking Him today so that we can catch HIS vision for what He wants to do through HIS Church.
It is sad to say; but many churches have turned away from the original vision God gave to them. I have never been part of a church that hasn’t struggled with that in some manner. But just because we may lose sight for a time of “who” we are, and “what” God has called us to do doesn’t mean that God is finished with us. I believe it is God’s desire for His church to begin seeking Him today so that we can catch HIS vision for what He wants to do through HIS Church. Today I want to share with you about how God can restore to us a vision for the future He has prepared for His people.
Our study is going to begin in the Book of Ezra, and then we are going to fast-forward to the Prophecy of Haggai.
Text 1: Ezra 1:1-5
In the book of Ezra chapter 1, King Cyrus gave a decree calling the Jews who were living in exile to return back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. 50,000 Jews responded to the call, returned to Jerusalem with zeal and they started to build the foundation of the temple.
Sixteen years later this was the scenario:
Text 2: Haggai 1:1-14
1. Remember our Challenge (Haggai 1:4)
4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?”
They started to work on the vision with zeal but the work was hard and they got discouraged. They stopped the work and for 16 years the people forgot. They forgot the reason why they have return to Jerusalem. They settled down in the land while the Temple was in ruins.
2. Reconsider Our Choices (Haggai 1:5-7)
5 Now, the Lord of Hosts says this: “Think carefully about your ways: 6 You have planted much but harvested little. You eat but never have enough to be satisfied. You drink but never have enough to become drunk. You put on clothes but never have enough to get warm. The wage earner [puts his] wages into a bag with a hole in it.” 7 The Lord of Hosts says this: “Think carefully about your ways.
Twice God said to the people to “Think carefully about your ways” The people had settled into their own comfort zones. Their focus is on their own needs but some how their needs are never met.
The people started to focus on their own material needs, building for themselves beautiful houses, but some how their needs were never met. They earn money just to put into pockets where there are holes. You see God started to withhold his blessings from them.
It is easy for us to move back into our little comfort zones and forget that there is a generation that is perishing. It is easy for us to come to church and be comfortable with our little cliques or clubs here and there and forget that God had called us to bring hope to a hopeless generation. The problem is our “comfort zones” sometimes aren’t so comfortable. Maybe you are so caught up with your own life that you forget what God had called you to do. The Lord is saying to you reconsider your choices!
3. Renew Our Commitment (Haggai 1:12)
12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord.
The people heard the word of the Lord and they renewed their commitment to the vision once again. I believe that God is calling us as a people to renew our commitment to the vision again. Which means:
1) If you have stopped praying for the lost, you will commit to start praying again.
2) If you have stop evangelizing you will start again.
3) If you have fallen into sin, you will repent before the Lord.
4) If you have grown stagnant, and lost the personal vision God has given to you, you will commit yourself to be discipled and to grow.
4. Rest In His Confirmation (Haggai 1:13-14)
13 Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered the Lord’s message to the people, “I am with you”—the Lord’s declaration. 14 The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the spirit of the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. They began work on the house of Yahweh of Hosts, their God…
The people returned to the vision and they received a confirmation for the Lord Himself that He would be with them! The reality is, we can have a whole bunch of plans, but without God’s confirmation they will never bring us back to His vision for our lives, and for the life of His Church.