Establishing Priorities

Haggai 1:9 (ESV)
" You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house."

The prophetic ministry of Haggai was focused on rekindling the faith of the returning Jewish exiles from their Babylonian exile, around 536 BC. Working to instill courage in the people, Haggai delivered God’s message to rebuild the Jerusalem temple as recorded in Ezra. Haggai was a contemporary of the prophet Zechariah.

Our study verse above demonstrates an admonition from God delivered by Haggai to those entrusted to rebuild the temple. While they started earnestly, hindrances along the way made them quickly give up and focus inwardly upon their own needs instead. It is in this example of selfishness and emptiness where we see the application for us today.

Spiritual blindness is at the heart of this story, as the people could not make the connection between crop failures and God’s displeasure with them for their wrong priorities. The withholding of blessings from God (in the form of no rain and excessive heat) were a consequence of this behavior, and it took Haggai to point this out to the exiles.

What about us?

Who has priority in our own lives? Do we seek to satisfy our own will or do we seek first to listen to God and accept His will? Are we making life-changing decisions without thoughtful prayer?

Moreover, whose “house” is most important in our lives? We are quite good at staying busy, in fact, it is almost inconceivable for most of us to actually consider carving out quiet time in the day to seek communion with our Father. Rather, we try to fit our prayers in by multitasking them in with driving or some other routine daily activity. Instead of God taking prominence in our lives, we try to fit Him into our schedule and if it’s not convenient, we reschedule.

Haggai’s message is one that has extreme practicality for us now: God and the work we are called to do for Him must be prominent in our daily lives—not just on Sundays. We cannot glorify our Father in satisfying our own agenda first before taking on His. While we all desire God’s blessings, we must have the self-reflection necessary in order to recognize the errors in our own walk that might be hindrances to these blessings. After all, God never moves. We do.

Seek His will and purpose for your life. You were bought for a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23), so therefore honor your part of the deal.