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Haggai:Encouragement For All Part 2

Posted by Lorraine Serra on October 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM

 

So, how about this for a mind-boggler.


Shortly after last week’s Bible study post, I took my car in for inspection and guess what?


Yep.  Side tracked by a $300 + repair bill.  Ouch!  Wasn’t planning on that just now.   How funny, I thought.  I just wrote, “car needs brakes, I need brakes” and…


I don’t know about you, but it takes a conscious effort on my part to put on the brakes, get alone with my Lord and slow everything down to observe and evaluate where I am and what life is all about.   The whirlwind of life so often sweeps me away and I feel as though it is all a blur.  Can anyone relate?


No wonder The Three D’s can set in:  Disinterest, Discouragement, Dissatisfaction.


Well, whatever life is throwing at you right now, one thing is certain….not one of us can escape the Three D’s without the help and empowerment of the Holy Spirit Management Team.   Might I be so bold as to suggest, we need it desperately.


 I can say this with confidence, because I’ve tried unsuccessfully to go it alone and maybe you have, too.   It seems that the Jews discovered this as well.


 In Chapter 1, Haggai confronted the Jews who were suffering from disinterest in rebuilding the temple, turning their attentions instead to more favorable interests, their homes, families and careers.  A temporary storm in the form of opposition had stalled their building effort, and after it passed by, they failed to resume the project.


As we noted in our last study session, though their new focus may have seemed good, God was not pleased.  


Haggai cried out “Consider your ways.”    Then, he illustrated in clear terms that they were off-target, off track and therefore, never content.  Nothing they did seemed to bring them real peace and contentment.  


Boy, oh boy, can I relate to that!    


Do you love the illustrations in verse 6?


“  You plant much, but harvest little; eat and drink, but are never full; put on more clothes, but are never warm; earn your wages, but your purse is full of holes! “  


Life sure can feel like that sometimes. 

Feels like “spinning your wheels”.


The remedy is found in verse 8.   Seek to please God first.   Obey His instructions, honor Him with your best, receive the blessings.  It is the basic Bible principle of sowing and reaping. 


A heart centered on seeking God’s will and pleasure, receives the promises of provision and contentment.  They are part of the deal.   It is a higher level of contentment than we could ever imagine.



 Here is how it looks in my life sometimes: Struggle > frustration > distraction > disinterest >avoidance >failure. 


It can be about a project I’m working on, a challenge with one of my children, or work issues,  my own lack of discipline, or ministering to someone with a hard heart.   Whatever.   At times I just want to give up!


It is then that I need to stop and examine my heart, and seek God’s plan.   I must remember to run the race for Him,


Perhaps my favorite scripture about the Spirit is Philippians 2:13.  “It is God who works in you both to WILL and to DO His good pleasure.”   We are not designed to go it alone, to figure it out alone in our own strength.  We are designed for relationship with God, first and foremost.  


So when Disinterest with a “Big D” sets in, and foreshadows disaster or failure, I need to put on the brakes and consult my Management Team.  I’ve been trying to take the lead, rather than follow.  God desires to supply my needs and equip me for every challenge.


This also reminds me of Jesus’ teaching that He is the Vine and we are the branches.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  And again, He says to us “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Cor. 12:9 


When we recognize our need for Him, and desire His Holy Spirit energizing power above everything else, we will see victory over the Three D’s in our lives.  It is a choice, a matter of the heart, mind and will.


Before we begin our temple building project, with daily renovations and improvements, let us apply this principle, just as the returning Jews did, but keep at it passionately:


  Worship invites Holy Spirit Energizing, Life-Giving Empowerment, Comfort and Wisdom.  Don't leave home without it!


At times, with a busy day ahead, I give Him lip service, not a focused, surrendered heart.  It messes me up terribly when I try to go it alone.  Do you find that to be true?


 Daily, and several times a day, thank Him, praise Him, ask Him for direction for “the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth” John 16:13 and “He gives wisdom liberally to those who ask” James 1:5.  Then, be quiet, listen as you read the Word, or meditate on His promises.


Assignment:  See what else the Spirit does for us:  Look at Titus 3:5 and  John 16:7-11   How do these verses impact you personally?   Do you see evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in the world?    Share your thoughts as you wish.


Achieving consistency is impossible for me without the Holy Spirit Management Team: the Father’s great love, Jesus’ Word and the Spirit’s power.  


Thank you, Lord God, that I am a work in progress, and though it may at times be slow, it is steady.  Remind me daily to seek your counsel and your power to have victory over the Three D’s and move beyond myself.   I  invite Your Kingdom Power to rule and lead.  True contentment comes from relationship with You, Lord.  I worship You with gladness today, and joyfully anticipate the renovations You have in store for me.  Amen!


 


Categories: HAGGAI STUDY

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2 Comments

Reply Lorraine Serra
7:16 AM on November 5, 2010 
Hi Linda
I will pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal His best to you. I am sorry you and your family are struggling. Mental illness is such an exasperating problem. My mom battles it still. But, God can heal the deepest part of the tortured soul and remove the bondage there. We are just to love unconditionally, encourage and pray. I'm praying with you, sister. All my love!
Reply Linda
11:19 PM on November 2, 2010 
Lorraine, What a blessing to be able to go to your blog and touch base with a friend! Especially in times of discouragement. We've been going through a rough patch with my sister and her mental illness. 2 months ago things seemed pretty good and then out of nowhere, an episode....How I want to fix it....maybe something I can say or could have said. As if it were in my power. And then the reminder in Titus 3:5: "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" It?s out of my control and out of my hands. The result of our fallen world. But He is sovereign. He intervenes according to His plan, in His timing, for His purposes.

Please pray that there will be some awareness of Gods truth in the midst of this madness. Thanks friend. You are in my prayers too!