“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel…and Joshua…and all the remnant of the people.” (Haggai 1:14)
As I read this passage in the book of Haggai my heart said within me, “I want my spirit to be stirred by God.”
There are few worse moments than those times when my alarm goes off early in the morning and I lay in bed not quite able to fully wake up. It’s in those “in-between” moments that I have those weird, nonsensical dreams that repeat unmercifully. It’s also the time when I can’t find a reason to get up and get going – I can’t find a purpose greater than capturing a little more sleep and staying warm.
Being stirred up, awakened, roused, excited is meant to be the condition of our heart as we live as a “co-worker with God in the creative enterprise of life on earth.” (Dallas Willard) For most of us, our life feels more like that not-quite-awake time – no present sense of great purpose and the mind-numbing repetition of the mundane. But this is not our life! “For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.” (Eph. 2:10 ISV)
The disquieting thing about the book of Haggai is God’s declaration that “I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.” (Haggai 2:6 & 21)
Everyone I have talked to feels a shaking, an unsteadiness, a precariousness – on every front. Fear has been the primary stirring which usually leads to pulling-in, hunkering-down, conserving, and risk-aversion. And yet God says through Haggai, “But now take courage and work; for I am with you.” (Haggai 2:4)
What if God where saying to you and me through all that is going on in our life, in our country and around the world, “it’s time”? What if, instead of being stirred to fear, God was stirring our forgotten or battered down desires and dreams – the thing He has put in our heart to do which is “to be our way of life”? What if we were in front of a green light, not a yellow light? It’s counter-intuitive to the world, but scripture usually is.
“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.” (6.Deut. 32:11) God is stirring us, His young eagles, by making the nest uncomfortable and unsteady so that we will fly. And He is hovering around us, close in.
It’s time to go around the people who are stopped at the green light because they think it’s about to turn red.
To continue Dallas Willard’s thought, “We are to live as a co-worker with God in the creative enterprise of life on earth. To exhibit the striking availability of God to meet present human needs through our actions. We are to be the good news about the kingdom.”
The world needs some good news and to see the availability of God.