In response to 14 years of neglecting to build God's temple in Jerusalem, God spoke through Haggai to the generation of exiles that were responsible for this. They laid the foundation of a temple, but then they fell into a state of indifference.
When God spoke, He was not indifferent at all, He was all about going forward. He offered the exiles two strong things to consider for changing the situation of neglect:
1. "I am with you." Our God is not in a passive, sedentary, distant existence, He is here, among, and joined to us right where we are. With God, all things are possible.
2. "Be strong and work hard." This is where things get challenging. Brace yourself.
Many people choose to serve God or follow God and in doing so, they lay a foundation so that He could dwell in their lives. Many people lay a foundation and go no further but instead choose to neglect to make their entire lives a dwelling place for God. Christian, it's difficult to give God dignity if He has to live in a basement foundation only.
God said to the exiles that He was seeking glory, and that glory would come from a finished house.
Since you prayed and became a Christian, have you been strong and worked hard to build yourself up into a house where God's glory and character reside? Is your house fortified with the timbers of prayer, the stones of service, and a covering of the Word?
It takes work to build a temple, and it takes work to frame your life in such a way to withstand temptation, especially the temptation to house the Lord just enough to get by.
What spiritual discipline is in a state of neglect that could use a reminder to "Be strong and work hard?"
Pastor Scott Evans