Today marks the day that many a resolution is being made in order for 2018 to be successful. Few people are making any resolutions to fail this year! However, many Christians are right now plotting their downfall in the days ahead, without even realizing it. Today, a quick look at history could save us all.
In Haggai 1:6, God speaks to His people about a similar situation. “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.”
What a word picture! These people labored but had nothing to show for it. They worked hard but all the money disappeared. Why were they in this predicament? Well, God explains it earlier in the chapter.
(vs. 4-5) “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.”
The temple of Israel had been destroyed and left in ruins by Babylon in 587 BC. When Jews returned to their homeland from captivity, there were opportunities to rebuild the temple. However, the Jews kept putting it off because they said, “It’s not time yet.” But while they postponed restoring the temple, these same people made time to establish and elaborately furnish their own homes. Their priorities were apparent – personal pleasure was more important than God, so God negated all of their efforts at being successful. The principle here is clear. When your priorities are out of balance, the rest of your life will be also.
This does not imply that every person experiencing financial or social difficulties is not living for God. However, it does prompt us to evaluate our lives. What are your priorities? So many Christians have their personal lives “cieled.” They’ve spent time and money to ensure their children are star athletes or musicians. They’ve established themselves in their job and climbed the corporate ladder. They’ve bought every possession they can and constantly improved at their hobbies. But all the while, their walk with God, church attendance, and ministry involvement are in disrepair. God might say to them what He said to Israel, “Consider your ways. You’ve made everything a priority except for me.” And sooner or later, when God is not our priority, we’ll wake up and discover everything we’ve worked for has fallen out of our pockets.
The Israelites had allowed the temple to be in disrepair for many years, reasoning that it wasn’t time to fix it yet. The truth is, “I’ll do it later” has kept many good intentions from ever happening. With 2018 just beginning, what personal improvement projects need to become a priority in your life? Maybe it’s victory over a sin, more church involvement, or a vibrant walk with God. Whatever it is, God wants to have the preeminence in your life (Colossians 1:18). If He doesn’t have it, then you’ll do everything you can and get only emptiness in return.
Let’s consider our ways and make God the priority of our lives in 2018.