Consider Your Ways!
The title of this blog “Consider your ways!” is a statement God made to the people of Israel in the Book of Haggai several years after they had been released from their Babylonian captivity by King Darius. The Jews upon their return to Israel were to build God a temple for Him to dwell in, but sixteen years had past and His temple was still in shambles. The Jews reasoned they needed dwelling places more than God needed a temple. So after only a short time they stopped working on His temple to pursue other things. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, let’s fast forward a few thousand years to modern day America. We have churches on just about every major street corner, but God is not in most of them. The Jews didn’t have time to build God a temple, and in America God’s people spends bundles of money, time, and energy, building new church buildings. God couldn’t set foot in His temple because there wasn’t one. And today, He can’t set foot in most churches in America because the new churches are built to implement more religious programs in hopes of attracting a higher class of people so we can convert them into beings just like we are. God isn’t interested in our church building programs any more than He was interested in the Jews massive home building project during the days of Haggai. He is interested in only one thing and He expects His people to be about His business of adding lost souls to His spiritual church and His people worshipping Him in sprit and in truth. God is big enough to take care of our needs if we are bold enough to work in His fields bringing in the sheaves. (John 4:21-38)
Now let’s take a peek in Haggai 1:2-11 where God is speaking to the Israelites about their failure to complete their assigned task. “Thus speaks the Lord of Hosts, saying: This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” Then the word of the Lord came by the mouth of Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!” You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Thus says the Lords of hosts, “Consider your ways!” “Go up to the mountians and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when your brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Says the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore, the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Notice God is pointing out to the Jews they need to ‘consider their ways’ because the things they were doing weren’t working out for them the way they thought they would. They should have been blessed beyond measure, but they weren’t. If they had built God’s temple, none of these things would have happened to them. But they didn’t, and they did. The modern day church in America is suffering through these same trials at the present time. And, we, too, need to heed God’s warning to “Consider our ways” and get back to God’s business of building His church. If you read the rest of chapter one, you will discover that the Israelites heeded God’s warning and began work on His temple, and He said to them, “I am with you.” The apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Which is another way of repeating what Haggai said to the Jews of old. This is indeed good news, but the modern day church has yet to figure out what it means when God says, “I am with you.” Or, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Our view and understanding of who God is, is way to small. The world will take notice when our view of God changes. No longer should our focus be on our desires, but on God’s need for us to build His church body. When we ‘consider our ways’ and change the way we are doing things; we will hear God say to us, “I am with you”, and “Nothing shall be impossible unto you.” But until that days comes His people will continue to sow much, and bring in little; eat, but not have enough; drink, but not be filled with drink; clothe ourselves, but not be warm; and earn wages to put into bags with holes in them.”
I don’t believe there has ever been a time when the church has been as wealthy as it is today, but on the otherhand, I don’t believe in the entire history of the church in America it has ever been as spiritually poor. Jesus speaking in the book of Revelation about the ‘Lukewarm Church of Laodicea’ which many believe represents different church ages, says, to the lukewarm church age, “Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:17-22) DThrash
- Posted in: Christianity