Sometime towards the beginning 2005 after moving from Texas to the Washington, D.C. area, I was woken one morning and the Lord brought this passage to my mind. This passage forms part of the basis of my call into the church. I had walked outside of the church for the previous 14 years. I walked outside the organized church for 14 years by permission (even commandment) of the Lord. I did not violate the command to be in fellowship. I just didn’t regularly attend a specific church. I understood from this passage a few key things.
- It was time for me to begin attending church regularly. The Lord was wanting me to go into His house because it was in ruins from His point of view.
- The Lord showed me that I was not to purchase a home, but rather continue renting. This enabled me to focus more on God’s house than my own house since 2005.
1 In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day, the word of Yahweh came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘This people says, “The time has not come to rebuild the temple of Yahweh.’ ” 3 And the word of Yahweh came through Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your houses that have been paneled while this house is desolate?” 5 And so then, thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! 6 You have sown much but have harvested little. You have eaten without being satisfied; you have drunk without being satiated; you have worn clothes without being warm; the one who earns wages puts it in a pouch with holes.’ 7 Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! 8 Go up the mountain and bring wood and build the house so that I may be pleased with it and honored,’ says Yahweh. 9 ‘You have looked for much, and look! It came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?’ declares Yahweh of hosts. ‘Because my house is desolate and you are running each to your own house! 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, on what the soil produces, on human beings and wild animals, and on all their labor.’ ” 12 Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all the remnant of the people gave heed to the voice of Yahweh their God and to the words of Haggai the prophet, as Yahweh their God had sent him, and the people feared Yahweh. 13 And Haggai the messenger of Yahweh spoke to the people with the message of Yahweh, saying, “ ‘I am with you’ declares Yahweh.” 14 And Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and did the work on the house of Yahweh of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.Haggai 1:1–15 (LEB)
Journey into the Church
Starting early in 2006, I began regularly attending a local church in Northern Virginia. This began a journey of learning and involvement in several churches since that time. In each church, the Lord was teaching me key lessons and helping me to see His church in America from His point of view. This site implicitly and explicitly critiques some of the condition of the church in America. At the same time, I have met multiple leaders and laypersons whose heart and intent is set on doing their best for God and bringing glory to His name. Intention is not always enough. So, I have progressively realized and had my eyes opened to see that the church in America has gone astray in various ways. With my involvements in Cuba and the communication I have understood from the Lord, my sight has gotten clearer and clearer. The church in America needs help.
I do not consider it my job to fix things. I am to follow the Lord. Over time, he has made me witness and I have learned to listen, pray and say “amen” to what the Lord shows me. This means that I have come into agreement with Him that the on the whole the church in America is in trouble. I am not sitting in judgment. There are too many well intended believers in the church in America who are doing the very best they can. This includes leadership and layperson alike. I am simply agreeing with the Lord according to what He has shown me that the church in America needs help. It needs deliverance from some snares of the Enemy of God.
Update from 2018
In 2005, I had no idea how the Lord would apply these verses in my life. From 2005 to 2009, the Lord prepared me further and then led me to participate in His work in Cuba. From the fall of 2009 to the present, I have witnessed an amazing “project of God” in Cuba. My role has been from afar and small from my point of view. Mainly, I have supported others in doing the work of evangelism in Cuba and facilitated visits to the United States of a key brother in Christ whom God called to lead (in part) this amazing effort to evangelize Cuba. In part, the ability to support the work in Cuba has come from my decision not to buy a house. See More About Cuba to learn about this amazing project of God.
— A. Layman