Consider Your Ways
Frankly, I’d rather consider everyone else’s, that way I don’t feel so bad. But the reality of it is that won’t fix anything. So I have to start with examining myself from the foundation up, and that foundation was the day of my salvation. Am I better now than then, and to what degree? I can look at myself and say I am wiser… true story. I am spiritually more mature… true story. I am committed to the cause of Christ… true story. I am where God desires me to me… ummmm, no.
This idea of examination began when I grumbled to God about the church. I know it’s not just my own church, its churches collectively; because I’ve heard the grumbling of others who grow frustrated with the lack of commitment in God’s people. But as I grumbled, God began to shine the light of His word into the recesses of my heart and lo and behold… there was a message for me. I was really hopin’ it was for somebody else.
The book of Haggai the prophet begins by God calling out His own saying “This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord‘s house should be built.”
My theory as a leader is that I need to get God’s people motivated. But what I heard God say was, “You need to get motivated.” So much of my effort is spent trying to prod people into doing something and so much time is lost in the prodding. As leaders we need to get busy building.
So Haggai goes on to show the Lord’s frustration with the people when He replied to their response…
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
God was frustrated too! The people were more concerned with their homes than His. I guess Wednesday night was grass cutting night in Haggai’s neighborhood too. I guess Sunday evening services were for the people without a life. Yep… I’m in the flesh. But doggone it, why is that still so? Did we learn nothing from scripture? Every time the children of God forgot whose they were, there was a price to pay. And today we’re paying that price in the 2016 election for starters. Why is it a shocker that the moral decay of America would allow a lying, adulterous, murdering family in the White House? Could it be that our church houses have been abandoned and God’s priorities are so far down on our “to do lists” that He doesn’t even rank one day of the week with Him as focus.
Well, God did get their attention. At the conclusion of chapter one it is said that the “Lord stirred up the Spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.” It sounds like they got their priorities back in check!
Is there hope for us?
Twice in chapter one God said “Consider your ways.” And so I am. What is my direction? What is my personal mission statement? Every church should have one, and every person should have one. The children of God in Haggai’s day had the foundation of the temple to build on. In Chapter 2, verse 18, God again said consider, but this time it was not their ways, but rather the founding ways. The foundation of which the temple had been built in the days of Solomon was solid. They didn’t need to build a new foundation, only to build upon it.
So here’s the beginning of my mission statement… I think it’s a work in progress.
It’s my job to build, it’s God’s job to stir. Work. Let God take care of the drifters.