Get To Work!
"In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the house of God...Let the house be rebuilt..." (Ezra 6:3)
Approximately six years ago, I had an experience with the Lord that I will never forget. I woke up in our home in Ethiopia, stood up out of bed and couldn't stop speaking out, "Ezra 6, Ezra 6, Ezra 6." The only way I could describe this is: it was as if a burning coal had branded the words on my lips before I got up. I hadn't looked at the book of Ezra in years, and never to that point had I studied it so intently.
After this experience I dove in and kept searching for what the Lord was speaking to me, or perhaps even through me. One of the primary passages the Lord led me to was Haggai 2, also a key chapter from this time of rebuilding God's house. Specifically, I focused on verses 4-9, and have continued to pray into since then:
"So get to work, Zerubbabel! God is speaking. Get to work, Joshua son of Jehozadak—high priest! Get to work, all you people!—God is speaking. Yes, get to work! For I Am with you." The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is speaking. "Put into action the word I covenanted with you when you left Egypt. I'm living and breathing among you right now. Don't be timid. Don't hold back."
This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said: "Before you know it, I will shake up sky and earth, ocean and fields. And I'll shake down all the godless nations. They'll bring bushels of wealth and I will fill this Temple with splendor." God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so. "I own the silver, I own the gold." Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. "This temple is going to end up far better than it started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish: a place in which I will hand out wholeness and holiness." Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies." (Haggai 2:4-9, The Message) (Photo via Flickr)
Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Joshua, son of Jehozadak, were each key figures during this special window of opportunity to rebuild God's house that began with the decree of King Cyrus. However, the decree was not just to those who represented the Government and the Church leaders; God addressed "all you people" as He commanded them to "get to work" on the rebuilding of His house.
The Latter, More Glorious House
When I read about the latter house, I try and look at the nature of God throughout the story that flows through His Word. First, though God has always fulfilled prophecy specifically and perfectly, He often first moves in an unlikely way. For instance, the Messiah came but few expected the way He came. Jesus was King but few expected the Cross to be the victory. Likewise, when we talk about the rebuilding of God's house, as much as I believe the physical structure is also involved, I believe God's higher priority is upon the "family structure" that He is restoring and reforming. God gives us a hint of such on this subject through David.
David wanted to build God a house as badly as anyone in Scripture. And God still told David "No." Instead, in 2 Samuel 7:11 God told David, "I will make you a house." I believe the word "house" has two very distinct meanings there.
1. A physical structure (building, temple, home).
2. A family structure (descendants, family, clan, etc.). David wanted to build God a physical structure, but God wanted to make David into a family structure.
It is time like never before to tune-in our spiritual senses...
I believe the more glorious, latter house is the family structure that God has been building since the Garden of Eden, through Abraham as a father, through Boaz & Ruth the kinsmen redeemer story (who are David's great-grandparents), through Jesus as God's Son, and through us as His sons and daughters. The greater glory will be found in the restoration of God's family beyond any building, ministry or organization. I believe this is the prioritized house—God's family—that we must "get to work" in rebuilding together during this window of opportunity.
Boaz and Ruth are actually a key example in restoring the family of God. Too often Boaz is simply looked at as this "dream guy" many are waiting for, but he is so much more! We actually had the privilege of living outside Bethlehem on the very fields of Boaz and Ruth for a few months this past year. And when Ruth came to those fields she was a foreigner, a widow, and she was poor, which were huge stigmas at that time. Boaz didn't just minister to her; he restored her as a bride, as family, because he treated her like she already belonged.
If we will learn to love those around us and in the world the way Boaz loved Ruth, we too will see a Bride and a family restored. When we minister to someone they might get loved. But when we love someone, they always get ministered to.
"I'll shake down all the godless nations. They'll bring bushels of wealth and I will fill this Temple with splendor...I own the silver, I own the gold." (Haggai 2:7-8)
I believe we are in a time where we are about to see miracles of provision, discovered resources, gold and silver like never, before being uncovered, for the Kingdom and the rebuilding of God's family. We are in a time where God so wants us to get to work in restoring His family that He will make sure we are not hindered in such a task. He simply requests that we overcome the discouragement of past seasons, get started, not be timid, and not hold back from operating in the generosity, love and abundance that is so in alignment with the Father's nature and imperative in loving the world like family!
In the passage of Haggai 2, the Lord is referred to over and over again as "God-of-the-Angel-Armies" as The Message version reads. Other versions in this passage call Him "The Lord of hosts." I believe our inner-workings with angels are in the midst of making a significant leap. They are the "hosts" of God's house and family, and they are also an army charged with rebuilding what is most precious to Him—His children.
It is time like never before to tune-in our spiritual senses to the angels around us and knowingly partner in this project of rebuilding His house. They will help us gather, they will help us build, we will work together and will do so through prayer and the Word.
The Vision of the Lampstand
This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord of hosts. "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain..." The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Zechariah 4:6-9
God recently spoke several different words to us that came together and created an unlikely treasure hunt. I've been on a number of these faith-led treasure hunts in our journey but this one has been especially unique. When I reached the location where "X marks the spot" I began to pray and had a powerful encounter and vision with the Lord that physically shook me. (Photo via Flickr)
The primary and most powerful part of the encounter was when I saw and began to speak out a vision of a lampstand and seeing it restored. A couple weeks later the Lord reminded me that I hadn't dived into this vision as far as I could have and He was waiting for me. As I began the word study of "lampstand" in my concordance, I saw a "vision of a lampstand" found in Zechariah 4.
In this passage, the lampstand was symbolic to an encounter between Zerubbabel (again from Haggai 2 & Ezra) and a messenger angel that was speaking to him. The angel was trying to rouse Zerubbabel from the discouragement he experienced previously when he sought to rebuild God's house and now told him that it was time to finish what he had started.
God then promised Zerubbabel that the rebuilding would not be by typical human ways, strength or resources, and would only be fulfilled by His Spirit. God also declared to Zerubbabel that the mountain which stood in his way of completing the task would become but a plain before him. AMEN!
But, it's time to restart and it shall not be hindered. The gold is God's, His angels are here to partner with us, and we have entered into a time of opportunity where we must rise up above the discouragement that has plagued us and watch the Spirit accomplish this rebuilding in ways we couldn't have dreamt possible before!
"This temple is going to end up far better than it started out"
We are in a Zechariah 4 moment with Heaven and the Father is behind us! It is time to finish what we started. It is time to go beyond the physical structures of His house, beyond the dividing lines and see people in all aspects of the world as He sees them—as family. It's time to get to work and rebuild the family structure of God so that together we can reveal to the world a greater glory of our Father than ever before.
"For who has despised the day of small things?" (Zechariah 4:10). We get to work rebuilding God's family one moment, one person, one act of love at a time—each act of love is a representation of the Father so that the world will know that they are His family.
It's time to get to work, live upon the promises of God, and rebuild His family! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)
Joey LeTourneau, his wife Destiny, and their six children live in northern California. From California to Israel, the Middle East, Africa and beyond, wherever God bases them their passion and purpose is to reveal the nature of the Father and see His family restored. They communicate the Father's heart to impart renewed peace, healing, and to draw people into a special oneness with the Lord that causes the world to believe. Joey is the author of six books and together they travel, speak and train others to reform God's family throughout the world.
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