Summary: In Haggai’s day God shook up the Heaven’s and the Earth to awaken the people to their wrong priorities and to refocus them On the building of God’s House. God is shaking up the world today so that we reprioritize our lives God’s way so as to get us to ref
“It’s Shaking Time!” Haggai pt 2
Last week from Haggai chapter 1 we discovered that the Israelites who had returned from exile had allowed their priority list to get inverted and God and His house were placed at the bottom of the list. This caused God to send Haggai the Prophet to awaken even to shake the people up and to make them aware of their dangerous position with God. God told them that they would never get ahead by placing their houses ahead of God’s House!
The priorities in our life will determine our success or failure of life and we need to make sure that as believers we have the right priority list or we will never get ahead and God will withhold His blessings from our life.
Priority List article:
Developing Christian Priorities in Life by Lambert Dolphin
The following notes are based on a discussion in Silicon Valley in a men’s core group consisting of university students and young professionals.
The Non-Christian’s Priorities are usually somewhat as follows:
1. Leaving home, getting through school and choosing the right career. Being independent of parents is considered a virtue, and the chosen career should pay well, offer opportunity for advancement, and be always fun and exciting.
2. Earning a good income and accumulating wealth and property is what we are here for--it’s the good ol’ Protestant work ethic. Building up assets (not just savings for emergencies or vacations) is considered a fundamental American right, as stated in such expressions as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
3. Meeting and choosing the right marriage partner. These days this is done by dating and often sleeping with a variety of partners until the right one comes along or is selected by a trial and error process. Wide range sexual expression before marriage is taken as normal and even desirable by many.
4. Raising the children properly, becomes an increasingly important priority while moving along a career path among the newly married.
5. Going to church and/or community and civic involvement is a lower priority goal, but may be postponed until the children leave home or if there is spare time for hobbies and such. Religion, if any, is supposed to be an aid in achieving one’s life goals through self-improvement. Some join churches to meet people or for enhanced social status of because it’s seen as noble and exemplary
6. Retirement, old age, dying---and presumably ceasing to exist forever follow. It is assumed that nothing is really known about an afterlife, and certainly in today’s society very little sense that we are accountable to God and must face judgment. It is best not to think much about such inevitabilities in an existential, hedonistic society where short term goals are preferred in an uncertain and confusing world.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (I John 2:15-17)
In Contrast, the Christian’s Goals should be somewhat as follows:
1. To know God better every day through personal time with Him in the Word. This includes knowing one’s spiritual gifts and determining the ministry God has called each one of us to. (All Christians are in the work of the ministry!) As responsible Christians we usually will need to get a job to support ourselves. If married, we have a responsibility to our families that is always high on the list of priorities. We cannot serve God very well if we don’t know what He is like and what He is doing in the world. "To whom much is given, much is expected." Christians should take their gifts seriously and find ministries where they can serve God by exercising their gifts with full heart, soul, energy and faithfulness. If possible the Christian’s job should provide needed financial support to allow maximum time for ministry.
2. Developing a good prayer life is essential for growth and for tuning in to what God is doing in the world. Walking with God is our daily responsibility, otherwise He can’t use us and we do not become whole persons as He intends for us. Prayer is God’s way of drawing us into what He is doing in the world. If we are not available, or head in the wrong direction, God will use someone else to get his work done---and we will lose all the credit. Rewards are given only to those who have risked themselves, seized God-given opportunities and denied themselves in order to advance the kingdom: