I have another confession. Not so long ago, right after I read Michael Hyatt's book Platform (which I highly recommend to those in the writing/speaking profession), I got quite engulfed in the process of "building" my platform and neglected to work on much of anything else.
Now if you're in a type of business or ministry where you have to work to get your message out there, as I am, building a platform is a noble and necessary task. Truly, it has to be done. Otherwise, you're speaking into your own closet and you might as well not. If you want to be heard and taken seriously in a sea of voices, you've got to build a platform, stand on it, and speak up.
Building a platform these days involves mastering multiple social media outlets, working connections, being consistent at what you do, and, well, just a lot of hard work and time.
But in the midst of all that building, I came across this scripture in Haggai 1:6-8. Take it in.
"You have sown much and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
and he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes."
Thus says the Lord of hosts;
"Consider your ways!
Go up to the mountains and bring wood
and build the temple,
that I may take pleasure in it
and be glorified," says the Lord.
According to this passage, the people were working hard, but getting no where. Why? Because they were working toward selfish goals. Sure, these were necessary things, but they were doing little else than taking care of themselves. And the results were meager and unimpressive.
But God exhorted His people to put the work and labor and effort and time into building His temple instead. Then, He promised, there would be results: He would take pleasure in the temple they'd built and He'd also be glorified.
I was reminded that I have a temple to work on, too. That temple is my heart and soul - the dwelling place of God. And He has asked me to put forth the labor and time and effort and commitment necessary to build Him a suitable dwelling place, one in which He can take pleasure and be glorified.
So in recent weeks I have continued to do the necessary things to "build my platform," but I've swung more of my focus and energy toward building my temple, His dwelling place. It's not easy to make that kind of shift. Some days it feels counterproductive, to be quite honest. But I know that God will bless when I adopt His priorities for my life.
Here are a few of the changes I've made:
- I'm back to meditating on selected scriptures several times a day to the point that I am memorizing them. Once again, this has become my very sustenance. It is truly amazing how satisfying it is to feast on His Word this way.
- I am reading from the Bible first thing every morning as opposed to after my walk, my shower, my breakfast, my daily dose of Good Morning America and my initial e-mail check. All that can wait until I've read from the Word of God.
- I have signed up for a new Bible study at Bible Cafe for Women. I'll start reading Choose Joy by Kay Warren with a few hundred other women on July 30th.
- I'm spending more time in prayer every day. I am making a concentrated effort to really talk through things with God more.
God told the people in Haggai 1 to "Go up to the mountains and bring wood." He wanted them to labor and sweat and even get tired from all their efforts. If we are to create a suitable dwelling place in our lives for the living God we will put forth similar efforts.
How are you working on your temple, God's dwelling place in you? How do keep from losing focus and getting distracted by other pursuits? Do you think it's worth it to labor on the temple?
Labels: discipleship, Just Me and Thee, priorities, work