Faith and “Sparks”

Haggai is a very small prophetic book written during the postexilic time in Israel’s history. The people of Israel had returned to their own land after living in Babylon. One of the main reasons they wanted to go back to Israel was to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed. They began well, (building an altar and offering sacrifices) but then go distracted and stopped. The Word of the Lord came to Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the people to finish the task. In the New Living Translation Haggai 1:12 we find then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you says the Lord.” so the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies on September 21 of the second year of King Darius reign. The word “sparked” caught my attention. I thought I want to be someone who “sparks” another into good action, and I need others to “spark” me on to good works.

I believe God desires us to do/be both. The Hebrew word that they translate “spark” is “‘ur”. It means to rouse, awaken, stir up, excite, raise up; to incite, to arouse to action; to open one’s eyes. As I was pondering these meanings, I thought we need to be sparked first by God and second by ourselves and others! The struggles of this season are real. It is hard to stir up our faith–when oppression, depression and discouragement are close at had. But, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the very time we need to move into action. Those men were sparked into action by God’s Word. “I am with you”. He is with us. He has never, nor will ever leave us. The wind and rains are blowing, but if we persevere, we can light fires in our own hearts and in the hearts of others for His kingdom. Once the fire is lit, keep it burning. To those of you who are feeling alone, you are not. To those of you who feel abandoned, you have not been. He is with you. Call upon Him and He will show you great and mighty things. Do not forsake the gathering together during these days–even if you have to do it through the internet.

I want to thank our pastors and leaders for “sparking” me. I want to thank song writers, musicians and other artists who keep on “sparking” us with their gifts and talents. I want to thank teachers and writers who inspire me to keep moving on and “sparking” others. I need you, appreciate you and pray for you to continue “sparking” others. If you are a pastor, teacher, worship leader etc do not draw back from discouragement, but press on. God is moving in and through you, because that it what He does. Speak His Word.

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