“Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries…I would feed you with the finest of the wheat; and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:13-14,16
I believe God’s ways are His priorities. To walk in His ways is to change our priorities so that they line up with His. In the book of Haggai the Lord asks His people to examine the way they’re living their lives: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes. This is what the Lord Almighty says: Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5-7)
He tells them that He was the One controlling this to try to get their attention. They had put their houses, before His house; their plans, before His plan and were experiencing the discipline of the Lord. He was trying to get their attention, so that they would make the necessary changes to have His full blessing again.
I received a call at church from a lady who needed financial help. She described at length how the situation had occurred and why there was nowhere else to turn to for this emergency need. The church was in a position to help, so I told her what we would do and she was relieved. Before hanging up I asked her where she went to church, to which she replied, “no where.” I told her that I thought the financial gift was only a band-aid while the long term solution would require a rearranging of life so that she could respond to God, and not just to her needs. She said she agreed.
Maybe as you read this you wonder if God is trying to speak to you about your own life? Maybe you’ve been putting band-aids on your finances and relationships for so long that you’re getting weary of it? Maybe you’re tired, as Saul of Tarsus was, of “kicking against the goads?” (Acts 26:16) Maybe you’re ready for the radical solution of changing your priorities to line up with God’s?
The Jewish people were ready. They listened to Haggai and started putting God’s things first by working on the house of the Lord. After three months of this change in their lives the Lord declared: “From this day on I will bless you.” (Haggai 2:19) I think He’s waiting to bless you and me as well!