Half the year gone already?! Really? Is anyone with me on how fast this year is flying by? Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions or goals, I choose one word to guide the year. My one word for 2017 is “FIRST.” During this year, I will pay particular attention to putting God first, before everything else.
The clock seems to run my life most days. So, I started wearing a watch again to remind me that my time is not my own. My time belongs to God. As I put my watch on in the morning, I ask myself if I’ve already spent time with God before I start on the things I think must get accomplished today.
It’s working in the sense that I have been more consistent in spending time with God every morning. What remains a struggle, however, is how often I set aside what I believe God has called me to do for His Kingdom. I still make excuses for why I haven’t posted on this blog every week!
I still find more time to do things for my own pleasure rather than getting my butt in the chair to study and write. My TV is on more than I’d like to admit. My phone and facebook account are not lacking for attention. Anyone else?
Well, we aren’t the first people to spend our efforts on our own pleasure before we tend to the tasks God has given us to do. Take a moment and turn your Bible to the Old Testament prophet, Haggai. There’s only 2 chapters, so you have time! (I wish teasing came through better in written form!)
The people in Haggai’s time were supposed to be rebuilding God’s temple, but they were not getting the job done. They were trying to justify their disobedience by claiming that it just wasn’t time yet.
Read what God thinks about making excuses with regard to time:
“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate? Now, therefore, thus says, the Lord of hosts, ‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to be put into a purse with holes.'” ~ Haggai 1:4-6
In other words, why have I put my own tasks ahead of what God has requested of me? For food or drink? For clothes or wealth? And yet, I still feel unsatisfied. Anyone with me?
Do you want to know why?
“You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.” ~ Haggai 1:9
I’m certain that I feel unfulfilled with all the things I am so busy doing because I have not tended to the tasks the Lord asked me to complete. What tasks has He asked you to complete?
Are you (like me) telling yourself that it’s just not the time to take on one more thing?
I love what God tells the people when they decide to turn to His work: “I am with You.” ~ Haggai 1:13
A bit later, when the people get discouraged because the temple they are building is not as glorious as the one Solomon built, the Lord tells them:
“Take courage, declares the Lord, and work; for I am with you.” ~ Haggai 2:4
So, what did I learn from Haggai this morning:
~ God wants us to push forward, to take courage, in our work for Him.
~ God wants us to make HIS work our priority.
~ God will be with us each step of the way ~ even when we get discouraged and don’t feel up to the task.
What do you think? Is it time yet?
What will you do today so that you are doing the work God assigned to you?