Witness Him Now
I don't know if you feel it or not, but we are living in hard times. Internally hard times. The pressures of this life are getting intense. The anxieties and fears, the circumstances that we can't change, the financial pressures, the health issues, worries over jobs, family turmoil, anger and frustration. It is all coming down on us at one time, and it is all by design.
Hebrews 12:7 (NIV) says, "Endure every hardship as discipline from God." And Haggai 1:5 says, "Look at what's happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says, 'Look at what's happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild My house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD.' You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because My house lies in ruins, says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. It's because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. I have called for a drought on your fields and hills - a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get."
Can you see yourself in this passage? If so, you are in a good place. God is about to turn your heart like water toward Himself once again. He is calling us to turn our faces from going our on selfish way. He is asking us to open our hearts wide to Him so that we can know His will and His purpose. Things have to get hard for us to know that we are going the wrong way. When Haggai's message went out - the same message above that is going out to you and to me, this is what the people did. "Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God's people began to obey the message from the LORD their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the LORD their God had sent, the people feared the LORD. Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: "I am with you, says the LORD!" So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Jeshua and Zerubbabel and the whole remnant of God's people. They began to work on the house of their God,
Our heart is His house. The LORD wants to purge the temple. He is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle, and we are not there yet, but we will be. So right now, if things are hard in your life, know this: God disciplines those He loves. The internal pressures will go away as we begin to give more and more of our hearts to Him. The work of righteousness is peace, but there is no peace for the wicked. If there is no peace in your heart, there is still something wicked. You are believing and trusting in a lie. Once we confess the lie as a sin, the anxieties and fears go away. Peace enters. However, if we continue to resist the LORD's discipline, know this. God will not relent until His heart and our heart are one. Listen to what was going on in King David's heart...
O LORD, don't rebuke me in Your anger
or discipline me in Your rage!
Your arrows have struck deep,
and Your blows are crushing me.
Because of Your anger, my whole body is sick;
my health is broken because of my sins.
My guilt overwhelms me -
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and stink
because of my foolish sins.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
A raging fever burns within me,
and my health is broken.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart...
17 I am on the verge of collapse,
facing constant pain.
But I confess my sins;
I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
I have many aggressive enemies;
they hate me without reason.
They repay me evil for good
and oppose me for pursuing good.
Do not abandon me, O LORD.
Do not stand at a distance, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
O LORD my savior.
Sin attacks health and finances. Sin causes pain and anguish. Sin destroys relationships. Sin causes death. We have to get rid of sin. We have to learn to trust and obey, and God is using all the circumstances in our lives to do just that. What the enemy means for evil, God means for good. No matter what is coming your way, know this: All things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose because we are being conformed into His image. When God is through with us, we will look like and act like Jesus. That is God's big plan - to conform us into Sons of God.
So look what happens when we conform...
Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the
Finally, I confessed all my sins to You
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the LORD."
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to You while there is
that they may not drown in the floodwaters
For You are my hiding place;
You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway
for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."
Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust
So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Wow! A pure heart. That's what God is after. He will not relent until He gets it. Come, LORD Jesus. Heal the broken hearted, set at liberty those who are bound. Open prison doors and let the captives go free. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what You are saying. Beauty for ashes, LORD. Beauty for ashes. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."