So, who has ever really read the Book of Haggai? I'll be honest- I'm not even sure how to pronounce it. But that's where I found myself this morning... all two chapters of Haggai. That whole book is about setting priorities, so of course it rubbed me the wrong way. I'm all about flying by the seat of my pants; priorities, schmiorities. But it really spoke to me by the time I finished reading.
Here's the setup: following the Babylonian exile, the people are returning to Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the city, including what was once Solomon's Temple. So they start working on building the Temple back- but opposition arises. (Enter Haggai, the prophet who tells it to you straight)
The Lord gives a message to Haggai that the people are more interested in themselves and their luxurious houses, than rebuilding his Temple (which by the way looks like a pile of rocks). Haggai doesn't sugar-coat it; He tells it to them straight... put the first things first. He asks them to remember it the way it was, and to take courage and work, for the Lord is with them. After the encouragement from the Lord, the people respond by completing the Temple- and clearing a place for God in their hearts.
Alright so no- it's not exactly like that in my everyday life- it's not about physically rebuilding anything at all. But spiritually, it's exactly where I am. Think about it: there are 168 hours in a week. So how is it that some people get so much done, and I feel like I get nothing done? Priorities! The people finished building the Temple in the midst of opposition because that was their number one priority. And that got me to thinking- and those of you who know me know that's a scary situation. What are my priorities? Well, looking back over the last week, my priorities have been sleep, food, visiting family because I have a new nephew, catching up on work from being out, sleep and food. But what about the Lord? I mean, if I really think about it, what do I want to look back on when I reach the age of 40, 55, 70? My job? The stress that's causing me to worry all the time? NO! I want to know more about the Word of God; I want to have a consistent prayer life; I want to have a family who is walking with the Lord alongside me. So, as much as I hate to admit that I'm wrong about anything- my priorities are out of whack! My first priority should be first and foremost the Lord and my relationship with Him. He says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. THEN all these things shall be added unto you." Everything falls into the correct place when you're top priority is God.
Haggai, you can slap me in the face and call me wrong. This is the time for getting our priorities straight. Yes, there's opposition all around us- but the reward comes when we stay the course. We build the Temple of the Lord (which is our bodies) to house Him. Then the other stuff can happen. You can have all the power, fame, riches, nice houses, nice cars, and nice clothes because of "what you have accomplished for yourselves"- but where does that leave you? I am nothing unless I'm His daughter first. If He is honored first, all that other stuff can come and go, but it won't affect my stability which is in Christ.
So, how's that for today's lesson? Pretty good I think. I'm off to prioritize my day... which has already tried to take on a life of it's own.
Have a Great (Long) Weekend.
3 days ago