|Posted by Lorraine Serra on November 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM|
How many ads have you seen or articles have you read that promise an easy way to “organize” your closets, or “trim your hedges”, or “wash your windows” or even “lose weight without exercise”.
They sell products to make the task easier, but they still require your cooperation. There is some work involved. You must acquire the tools and then, take action. They don’t do you any good at all if they sit in the packaging carton or on your bookshelf.
Our relationship with God through His Holy Spirit is much the same. We can read the Word, and hear His instruction, but unless we take deliberate action to apply and obey what He teaches us, we won’t see victory over the Three D’s or any other challenge in life: Disinterest, Discouragement, Dissatisfaction.
We are stuck with this imperfect, fallen world full of trouble. But, remember, Jesus said, “Take heart, for I have overcome the world”. (John 16:33) Now, that is a promise of hope for us when we plug into resurrection power to equip us beyond our circumstances. We can have freedom, contentment and joy, even in the challenges.
Haggai speaks to all of us: “Consider your ways!” Are you spinning your wheels? Do the same patterns and habits trip you up in your life? How can you be “an overcomer” in the Lord’s strength?
I take great comfort in Romans 8:26 which states that the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness.” Yes, indeed. He intercedes for us before the Father, and he intervenes in our weakness, but not in our avoidance.
Like the Jews, Haggai tells us to consider how we spend our time, our resources and our talents. Have we lost interest in the things of God as did the Jews? He then laid out instructions so they might see fruit in life and find contentment.
In verse 8, the Lord spoke to them through Haggai: Stick with the plan. Don’t give up! Go chop down the trees, bring the wood and build the temple. Obey me. Then, I will find pleasure in your obedience and be glorified in what you accomplish.
God is telling all of us, in all our circumstances: Obey! Stick with the plan! You will be blessed by the results even as I am glorified in the work of your hands. You may not have the resources of Solomon, and I realize you can’t order cedar from Lebanon, or gold from Ophir to rebuild my temple. Still, I will find pleasure when you give me the best you have, and I will accept it because I love you, and I honor your obedience! I am reminded, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam 15:22)
Friends, if the remedy to our struggles is obedience, then how and where do we look to uncover our disobedience? If contentment evades us, what needs to change so that we may enjoy it? Where should our hearts be focused?
Principle #1 Worship is the priority. Worship invites Holy Spirit Energizing, Life-Giving Empowerment, Comfort and Wisdom. For what purpose? To enlighten and correct us.
Examination of our actions, motives and expenditures in light of our service to God is hard work. I know in my life, it is an ongoing discipline! But the Holy Spirit is with us forever, revealing all that is hidden from our natural eyes. (John 14:16) It is His job to convict us of our sin (John 16:7-11). As we spend time with Him, He will do His job.
Principle #2 Live in step with the Spirit, obedient to His instruction to live out God’s Word of Truth.
The Lord sent Haggai to tell the people they would never be content until they attended to His house first. We must make God’s priorities our priorities.
We need an attitude adjustment. If we want true peace, contentment and freedom in our relationships, in our work, in our homes, it starts when we prepare our temple for His presence in a deeper, fuller way. Don’t forget, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Halleluia! Aren’t you glad?
First and foremost, He wants us to live for Him in a way that attracts others to find salvation through Jesus. What we build in this life is temporal, but our calling, our focus, is to build that which is eternal. You can’t fake something like that. You must desire it as much as oxygen!
The good news is, we can’t do it alone, and we don’t have to. Be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, so that everything, I mean everything, coming out of our hearts, minds, attitudes and mouths exalts Jesus!
Oh, I need to do some housecleaning, some renovations in my temple! Don’t you? Less of me, more of Him. Focus my heart on You, Lord!
Jesus came to give us life, abundant life. (John 10:10) Now and for eternity. He gave us His Holy Spirit to make our journey wiser, if not exactly easier. But, if we fail to unwrap His gifts and use them, they will do us no good whatsoever.
Assignment: In Galatians Chapter 5, we are most likely familiar with the fruit of the Spirit. Good fruit springs forth from a healthy tree. Sweet, delicious, and attractive.
But please focus on Galatians 5:13 -18 and then on to the end 25-26. Then, consider Ephesians 4:31. Finally, read James 1:16-23
Do you see any connection to how we are to obey God and stick to His plan?
How can the application of these verses aid you to find contentment through obedience?
Sovereign Lord, I am always in awe of the power of Your Word to pierce through to the deepest areas of my heart. Do heart surgery on me once again, O Lord, that I may obey with gladness and know the true joy of living for the pleasure of my Savior. Grant me wisdom and self- discipline to interact well with those difficult people and situations in my life. I want the light of Your Spirit working in me to shine brighter than my own opinion or attitude. Thank you, Lord. I trust in You. Amen.
Categories: HAGGAI STUDY