“Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, ‘I am with you, declares the LORD.’” (Haggai 1:13)
Haggai has told the people that God wants them to “go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house”, and they obey. Their political leader Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest take the initiative to begin building, and all the people take part in the project. So, God’s admonition has had the desired effect.
But He does not just point out the people’s shortcomings and then leave them alone with their immense task. As soon as the people start building, the Lord assures them that He is with them. The Bible also tells us that God “stirs up their spirit”. He encourages and strengthens them to carry out the work He commands them to do.
In Matthew 28, we find something similar. When Jesus Christ is about to ascend into heaven, He commands his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. That is a huge and difficult task! But they need not do that in their own power. Jesus assures them: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) If we are ready to obey God’s calling, He will strengthen and equip us for the task.
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