Haggai was a man called to be a prophet to the Israelites who were living in Israel after being released from Babylonian captivity. Their mission: to rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.
The first chapter of Haggai speaks about how the exiles were not exactly quick to focus their attention on the rebuilding process. So, in turn, the things they attempted to do outside of the Lord's work failed.
"Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: Look at what's happening to you! You have planted much but harvested little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!" Haggai 1:4,5 [emphasis mine]
Not too long ago, my family and I took a trip to a beautiful plantation resort called Barnsley Gardens. One of the main attractions at this plantation is the ruins. It is a BEAUTIFUL sight to see... but would NOT be conducive to live in anymore. In this passage, the Lord gently reminds the Israelites that although they live in nice, luxurious houses... HIS house was just sitting in ruins.
A few verses later, the Lord says:
"This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: Look at what's happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord. You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, while all you are busy building your own fine houses." Haggai 1:7-9 [Emphasis Mine]
The Lord has a specific mission that He has called each and every one of us to do. Personally, this passage spoke to me because sometimes I put the work that the Lord has given me aside to further MY OWN kingdom instead of His.
I am going to always remember this passage when it seems like things in my life are just always going wrong. Why? Because perhaps I am letting the work that the Lord has appointed me to do lie in ruins while I work to finish my own agenda.