There are times when I read Scripture and I feel uplifted and encouraged, and then there are times when the Holy Spirit gives me a healthy push in a different direction.
Such was my reality while reading the Old Testament prophet Haggai. It’s a short book but the main point is that the Israelites were supposed to be rebuilding the House of the Lord, but they got distracted by their own agendas and then they wondered why the Lord wasn’t blessing their efforts. Sound familiar?
Haggai 1:7 tells us that, “The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Think carefully about your ways.’” (which is the Hebrew equivalent of “you better check your heart.”)
Then He says, “‘my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.’” (Ouch!)
It’s not that God is against us building our lives. He’s not. It’s just that He’s more about us having obedient hearts. And if He has called us to build His house over ours, then He wants that to be our first focus.
What is it that God has called you to do? Start a small group, go on a mission trip, participate in a time of fasting? Then get busy and do that first.
After you’ve checked your heart and built His house, absolutely ask Him to bless your other efforts. I think what we will find is that He wants to bless us. We just need to get busy building His house first.
Fall is finally here, which means that the helmets are bright and shiny underneath the stadium lights. The question is: Are you ready for some football?
One of our favorite family activities is to meet up with other families at the local university football games. The air is mixed with Louisiana meat pies, cut grass, and of course, leather footballs.
As I watch the players take their positions on the field, I am in awe of how they hold their stance until the ball is snapped. It takes focus and discipline.
However, there are those occasions when a player will move off the line of scrimmage too soon and an offside penalty will be given. I always feel sorry for that player as the ref throws his flag and the offending number is called over the loud-speaker.
Maybe he “thought” he heard the snap. Or maybe there was bee in his helmet. But none of that matters to the referee who is there to make sure that the rules are followed.
Sometimes we jump off the line of scrimmage too soon in our spiritual life. Maybe we thought we heard the Lord say move, but we really were following our own desires. That’s why God’s Word tells us continually to “wait upon the Lord.” When we wait on Him our faith is built so that when we do hear Him say “move,” we can run the play with confidence.
Yes, it takes focus and discipline to wait, but it’s the best way to win the game!