Is It Time?
2 “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:2-5 NKJV
In these verses, God is speaking through the prophet Haggai because the people had determined that it was not yet time to build the Temple. They determined that because it was not easy and they had not yet seen the provision of the Lord to accomplish the work it meant it was not yet time for them to do the work of building the Temple, even though the Lord had told them to build the Temple 18 years earlier.
We often feel it is not yet time to do things for the Lord because we can’t see how it could ever be done in the natural. Often we wait to move, telling ourselves that when we see God make the provision, then we will begin to do what we are to do. This is backward thinking and not of faith at all. In fact, it is contrary to faith. We are to obey and move out in faith taking action before we see the provision, and then God will provide.
William Carey is known as a father of missions. He had a desire to take the Good News to other nations that had never heard the Word or the love of Jesus. When Carey desired to prepare for a missionary work out of the country, he was chastised severely by his mentor who told Cary, “Sit down young man. When the Lord pleases to save the heathen He will do so without consulting you or me”! The Church at the time did not believe that the great commission Jesus gave extended beyond the time of the disciples. Carey felt differently and believed it was time to take the Gospel around the world. The Church waited for God to move but Carey moved in obedience to the Lord and he effectively changed the church culture’s mindset towards missions for centuries to come.
Haggai told the people in essence, “The time is now” to obey the instructions of the Lord. He told the people that they sowed and were disappointed with the yield. They ate and yet were hungry. They would save money but put it in a bag with a hole in it. Do you even work hard and feel like you never can seem to get ahead? Perhaps the reason is that as the people of Haggai’s day, we take care of our house but not His. They justified serving their temporal needs first because they did not see God making provision for what He instructed them to do.
Has the Lord told you to do something in service to Him, but you have been slow to move because you think it impossible until He first does something to pave the way? Move out in faith, then and only then will you see His provision. Move out in faith and then watch how all other areas of your life will then experience fruitfulness as well. It is time to move in faith.
J Todd Hostetler