“The people feared the presence of the Lord . . . and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:12, 14). The Israelites were convicted of their self-interests and returned to working on rebuilding the temple. They were back where they should be—building the house of God!
They stood before the foundation of the temple and the walls were beginning to go up. But something was wrong and many of the older people began to weep! Why? Because they had seen the splendor of Solomon’s temple sixty-eight years before and this new one did not measure up. In comparison, it seemed as nothing!
The people began to talk of past glory, saying, “This temple has no ark in it, no mercy seat or cherubim. There is no consuming fire on the altar, no shekinah glory coming down on the house. After all our hard work, all our sacrifice and obedience, all our putting God’s interests first, we don’t measure up! This is nothing compared to what we once saw. Why struggle, why go on, when we see so little for all that we’ve done?”
A host of God’s people today are giving up because they do not think they will ever measure up! Like the Israelites, they have gone back to God, back to putting Him first, seeking His will, building His house. But when they look at their lives, they say, “I have so little to show for all my struggles! I have so little of God’s holiness, so little of His glory in my life. Compared to other Christians, I’ll never measure up. What’s the use of struggling? I’ll never have victory.”
I am convinced this is why many devoted Christians give up the fight. They compare themselves to other believers and become discouraged because they feel hopelessly inferior!
If you will just stay true to the Lord and not try to measure yourself by anything except your own love for Jesus, you can be assured that you are growing—and God promises to be with you!
Beloved, you can mark this down, because it is God’s promise to you! From the very hour you focus again on building up Christ’s body—setting aside all thoughts of measuring up and all selfish ways, letting Him become your all—you will begin to see His manifold blessing. You can literally mark it down! You will know He is favoring you, smiling on you, rejoicing in you!