How does God want you to order your life?
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’” Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?...” Haggai 1:2-4 New Living Translation
Did you hear about the two teenagers who were arrested? After they were booked, the police sergeant told the young men they were entitled to a phone call. Sometime later, a man entered the station and asked for them by name. The sergeant said, “I suppose you’re the lawyer?” The man replied, “Nope, I’m just here to deliver their pizza.” [Preaching.com] Talk about taking time to reorder your life. These young men needed a quick course.
Reordering your life is important to do more than just on New Year’s Eve. It is both necessary and beneficial. Most times resolutions for the new year are not enough. It is so easy to get caught up in our fast-moving, self-seeking society. Too often our sense of what is most important becomes dull because of all the things we see, do, and want. We lose sight of God and His purposes. We allow our wants to drive us rather than our needs. Our time is ordered by activities that help us accumulate wealth so we can get whatever we desire. But what we really need is God.
Haggai the prophet was very concerned about the Jewish people losing sight of life’s true meaning. He identified 2 reasons as seen in the above Scripture focus. First, the Jewish people were saying that it was not the right time to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem. Perhaps they had become intimidated by enemies criticizing them. The question is, “When is it time to give God time? When is the right time to do God’s work?” Second, they were consumed with accumulating personal wealth so they could live in lavishly, fine homes. Busy they were building their own homes but not concerned about building God’s temple of worship. Simply put, their goals were crowding out God. What they really needed was to have an ongoing, personal relationship with their Creator. Please note. It is not a sin to own a nice home. Haggai was warning the Jewish people about being “out of sync” with God. They were no longer operating in harmony with God’s purposes and priorities for their lives. No longer were they making God their first priority. They were not acknowledging God as their #1 provider. It was time for the Jewish people to reorder their lives.
Are you “out of sync” with God? Are you walking with God in harmony? Does your life reflect that you are grateful to God for everything you have? Is glorifying God your purpose for living? Are you remembering that everything you accomplish is a blessing from God?
Jesus Christ, the living God, revealed what is most important in life. He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31 New Living Translation] Haggai would have said, “AMEN.” If God is truly worshipped, it should be seen in how a person lives.
Dietrich Bon Hoffer said, “Possessions delude the human heart into believing that they provide security and a worry-free existence, but in truth, they are the very cause of worry.” Possessions can possess you. Seeking your own agenda can derail you from reaching your noblest capabilities. IS IT TIME TO REORDER YOUR LIFE? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:
- Self - Are my life achievements bringing me self-glorification rather than glorifying God? Who is getting the credit for my success?
- Health – Is my personal image more important than living in God’s image? How am I presenting myself to people?
- Wealth – Are my finances and possessions providing self-gratification rather than the privilege of giving and blessing others? Jesus said that if you have been given much then you have reason to give much.
- Work - Am I overworking rather than living a balanced life? Is all work and no play making me a dull, disengaged person?
- Time - Does my schedule and commitments control me rather than me controlling the use of my time? Do I have time for God? [ex. weekly worship, daily Bible reading and prayer and, serving, etc.]
Personally speaking, I have found it both necessary and beneficial to take time to reorder my life throughout any year. New Year’s resolutions are far from enough. It is important to meet with God to review what life’s purpose and priorities are to be. Will you find the time?
SOMETHING TO DO
- What is your purpose for living?
- What are your priorities?
- What are your answers to the 5 questions above?
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Heavenly Father, talk to me about my purpose and priorities. Show me how to order my life. Remind me to regularly reorder my life rather than assuming everything is alright. AMEN!