God Wants Us To Review Our Priorities
So what are your priorities? Have you ever asked that question of yourself? Spend some time to honestly answer? Take out a piece of paper or your ipad and create a list. As you compile your list remember that what is most important to you flows from what is most valued by you. What do your actions say you prioritize? How do you spend your time/money? What do you spend your time/money on first? What do you spend most of your time/money on?
In verses 5 and 7 God, through the prophet Haggai, tells the Israelites “Look at what’s happening to you!”
What this tell us is that “God wants us to review our priorities.”
How do we review our priorities?
First we review our priorities by doing what God is telling the Israelites to do – Look at what’s happening to you!
– they worked hard for their priority (planted much), but it produced little results – frustration.
– they benefited from their priority (food, water, clothing), but no satisfaction.
– they profited from their priority (they got paid), but it was like putting money in pockets filled with holes.
– in V:9 they hoped for abundance from their priority, but they were disappointed.
Why was it so difficult? God told them He was resisting them. “I blew away your harvest, I called for drought.”
Why? V:9, “Because my house lies in ruins… while all of you are busy building your own fine houses.
– As you review your priority list, what is it producing for you, in you? What is it doing to you? In other words, review how its working for you.
If it’s not going well then maybe there is something wrong with your priorities.
Second, as we review priorities, learn from what God is saying to a people who had gotten it wrong. They were saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’ Maybe it made sense. Shouldn’t I attend to my needs, my family’s needs, my spouse’s needs first? This is where Israel went wrong. When a follower of Jesus evaluates his/her priorities he doesn’t start with what is most important to him. He begins with what is most important to God. If we honestly search for God’s priorities, we discover that what is most important to God is Him.
– Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God…”
Priorities are not about choosing either/or. Priorities are about who/what will be first.
God is telling us that as we review our priorities that He should be at the very top of our priority list. This is what the temple represents. The point isn’t a building, but Him. By downgrading the priority of the temple, they were subordinating the value of God in their lives and God through Haggai is calling them out for violating that priority.
How about you? Look at what’s happening to you! As you review your priorities, have you violated the priority of God and as a result compromised your value of Him? Have you replaced Him with something/someone else that is more valuable? What is it doing to you?
For the Israelites, it was rebuilding the temple that was shifted further down on their priority list. Have you put God off until later? Is He a 2nd thought, 3rd thought or maybe there is no thought of God in your use of time? money? Perhaps you don’t follow His lead because someone else is in front of the line of your life?
If God is not in first position on our priority list then God wants us to reset our priorities.