The Spirit is really stressing the subject of priorities at the moment. The day after releasing Priority Determines Portion, He instructed me to read the Book of Haggai. Right away in chapter 1, The Spirit addresses the people’s wrong priorities. They have been spending far too much time and attention and effort building that which benefits themselves. What they should be doing is building His house—the order to do this had already been released by Cyrus 18 years previously and yet they were still saying, “Not yet, the time is not right!” That’s what one calls procrastination. They were far too focussed on dickeying up their own dwellings.
Now in the world of types and shadows, a person’s house or tent is their body. So basically, God is saying in this day and age, you spend so much time on your appearance, clothes, health, image… and you completely neglect the building of a spiritual space where I can come and manifest My presence. To manifest means ‘to make visible’. We won’t just feel His glory; we will SEE His glory! That’s if we reprioritize! So, after pointing out what they are doing wrong, He gives them a direct instruction:
Hag 1:8 Go up to the hill country and bring lumber and rebuild My house, and I will take pleasure in it and I will be glorified, says the Lord
They have to leave the plateau of self and ascend to the high places and return with what they need to build the temple of the Lord. Everything they need to build a spiritual space to hold what God wants to pour out is found higher up than the level where they have been functioning up to now. The level they have been living on has been fleshly; self-absorbed and short-sighted and on the first day of the 6th month, God has had enough. He sends Haggai to call them up higher.
The sixth month is Elul, which is the last month before Rosh Hashanah and the Fall feasts. Elul is the month of repentance and return; of examining one’s ways and making course corrections before a new calendar year clocks over. Twice, God says to them, “Consider your ways!” (Hag 1:5,7) To paraphrase—”Take stock! You can’t continue on like you have been. The month of harvest is around the corner and because of your selfcenteredness, I have been resisting you every step of the way. Despite all your efforts, you have achieved very little and the expected harvest is not even taking shape. Now, get your act together; come up higher, put in some much-needed effort! Get in sync with Heaven and get your priorities straight and I will bless you.”
While I was pondering all this, I saw in the Spirit, sluice gates being opened on a vast dam, and a torrent pouring forth. “This is the store of glory held back and appointed for the time of the end,” explained the Spirit. But where is He going to pour it if we haven’t build a space to hold it? Haggai’s impassioned message found fertile soil in the heart of Zerubabbel, the governor of Judah. Remember I spoke in the last message about Judah becoming His sanctuary; the place where He presences Himself. Well, here we have a governor of this very tribe’s allotted territory whose heart is tender and instantly responsive to the word of course correction. Both he and the high priest, Joshua, and ‘all the remnant of the people’ were moved by the Spirit to be obedient. Did you see that? It was the remnant that participated in building a place to house His presence!
On the 24th day of Elul, they began the preparations for construction of the second temple. That means for the first 3 weeks of the month they were examining their hearts and changing their priorities! The actual construction began exactly 3 months later on 24th Kislev. So what is significant about this date when they gathered together to begin preparing? It connects to another very significant event which began that evening many years before. It was at this moment that God spoke and said, “Let there be light” and created the first evening and morning. Before that, the Spirit had been brooding over the face of the waters because the earth was without form and void and there was reconstruction work to be done—much like the state of affairs in Haggai’s time.
And now here we are, living stones of God’s 3rd temple; the one not built with hands, and again the Spirit is saying, “Your priorities are all wrong. There is far too much focus on attending to the building of your own house. Come up higher and get the necessary instruction to build a place for Me to pour out My glory. I have so much I want to pour into you but you are focusing all your attention on things that will pass away. All your effort is channeled into temporal things. Come up higher and work with Heaven to build that which is eternal. Change your focus and I will be able to release the Tabernacles harvest; the corn, wine and oil —BUT this can only be released if you build a spiritual space for Me to tabernacle in your midst.”
In chapter 2 of Haggai, God makes reference to something that is appointed to occur in the time in which we are living; that time when He shakes everything that can be shaken:
Hag 2:6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake and make tremble the [starry] heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land; Hag 2:7 And I will shake all nations and the desire and the precious things of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts. Hag 2:8 The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of hosts. Hag 2:9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace and prosperity, says the Lord of hosts
So, here we see that at the same time as the shaking is going on, the glory is being poured out. And where is the receptacle that will hold this glory? It is the spiritual place built by the prayer and worship of the remnant as they come up higher and focus on building that which is eternal. When we come away with Him as Songs 2:14 describes and are positioned in the cleft of the rock, the little foxes that spoil the harvest can be dealt with and all potential fruitfulness can result in a great harvest. He wants to see your face and hear your voice. Let’s tear our focus off our own faces and our temporal needs and focus instead on His face.
A good friend of mine had a vision a little while back. She saw the remnant in tents on the low slopes of a mountain and they were all sleeping, unaware that their oxygen supplies had almost run out. They urgently needed to awaken and complete their ascent of the mountain. When one is in the foothills, one has very little perspective of the big picture. To see what God is doing, we have to ascend higher; to the place where the eagles gather, the place where the thermals of the Spirit blow freely.
Recently, I was driving in the countryside and saw a wind farm, where 9 huge wind turbines stood in the field. Seven of them were turning fast in the wind, but two were not functioning. Even though they stood in the same location and the very same wind passed them by, they were unmoved; disconnected and switched off. Such it will be in these days: There will be a great move of the wind of the Spirit but some will be moved by the Spirit of God and others will be completely untouched and unaware that God is doing anything, even though they stand in the same field. To be switched on and in tune with what Heaven is doing, we have to come up higher and get building that which is eternal. God will pour out His glory in the place and the heart which has been prepared before the time.
What are you hungering for, Beloved remnant? Is it the banquet of earth with its fine dining and many dishes to titillate your tastebuds? Or do you hunger for more of Him; for a greater touch of His Spirit, to move as Heaven moves? Come up to the hill country and gather timber with me and let’s build a place for Him to presence Himself. There is a beautiful translation of the last verse of psalm 23. The KJV says ‘and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’, but the Amplified says ‘and His presence will be my dwelling place forever.’ Us in Him and Him in us, perfect in one. Let’s press toward that. If we build it, He will come.