Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soul desire

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Haggai 1, 2; Psalm 122

Haggai 1:5-8 (NIV)

5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”

Psalm 122:1; 6-9 (NIV)

1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.

Good morning!

On Sunday morning, I was working in the kitchen, making food for our family picnic while flipping television channels from the sink. I love to multi-task! A thirty-minute real estate advertisement, showing various homes for sale in the Saint Louis and Saint Charles County area caught my interest. I stopped what I was doing and sat down on the sofa to watch. Have you ever paid attention to these infomercials? Many of the homes featured were large structures, elegantly appointed with the beautiful hard-wood flooring, plush carpeting, track lighting, and prime location. Each room was spacious, featuring vaulted or open ceilings. The homes sat on secluded acreage, surrounded by lush gardens, swimming pools, and shade trees. The price tag at the bottom of the screen was as long as each driveway. I couldn’t help but wonder where people make the kind of money it takes to purchase homes like the ones featured in this program.

There is a saying, “Home is where the heart is.” There’s just something special about coming home. If you are like me, you may work long days, and then go to school in the evenings. I don’t get to spend much time at home and when I’m there, I just want to be comfortable. I change from street clothes to my favorite pair of pajamas and curl up on the sofa with a good book, a bottle of water, and a snack. I can get a little too comfortable on that sofa, and before long, I’m fast asleep. I’ve learned that the sofa is not a good place for me to purposefully study. I do much better at a coffee shop or library. At least I stay awake there.

The Jews were finally returning home from Babylon and Persia. They had suffered for many years, and they wanted nothing more than to rebuild their lives in the light of God’s love. Their hearts were turned toward home. As the people began to rebuild, they focused on their own personal space, while forgetting about the God who saves them. Were they being self-absorbed? Maybe so, and yet, I believe these people simply wanted to create a safe space where they could be comfortable and rest without fear of persecution and captivity. They longed for peace, and the homes they were building represented their soul desire.

Somehow humans have come to believe that we have the power to create a safe space where the ravages of the world cannot touch us. Our brick and vinyl sided structures may feel wonderfully secure until they collapse in a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or other natural phenomena. Our homes may be vandalized and robbed without warning. We may lose everything we own in a financial setback or major health crisis. Where can we go to find an everlasting peace and security that cannot be destroyed or taken away from us?

The prophet Haggai speaks! He reminds all of us that it is time to stop worrying about our own personal comfort and begin focusing on rebuilding the temple of the Lord. God wants His children to worship and honor Him in a beautifully appointed sanctuary prepared especially for His pleasure. If you are looking for a special place where God can make His home, you must look no further than the heart beating inside your chest.

Have you prepared your heart to house the Holy Lamb of God? Do you spend time seeking His face in study and prayer? When we sit in His awesome presence, our hardened hearts melt away into the palm of His mercy and loving kindness. Have we been so busy erecting places of personal comfort that we’ve not made room in our hearts for Jesus? Can the Lord of life find a safe space to dwell within you today?

We will find true prosperity and peace when we seek to honor the Lord with our lives, first and foremost. It all begins with our heart’s desire, as we care more about His will than our own personal comfort. No disaster can ever shake a foundation built by the Lord’s hand, and no thief can ever steal or destroy the comfort God gives to those who place Him first in their lives.

What is your soul’s desire? May you find everlasting comfort and security in the home that is built upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


Pray for: a home of everlasting comfort and security. If you will prepare your heart, God will dwell within you today. He will create a home that cannot be shaken in the storms of life. He will give you peace that passes all human understanding and you will find yourself running to Him for comfort and rest. It’s time to stop focusing on the things that will someday pass away, and begin seeking your soul desire.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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