Consider Your Ways
Make me to know Your ways, O LORD;
teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day long.
I ask God for His wisdom, His Truth, His ways. I want to walk rightly in Him, growing to be more Christlike with each day. I ask. I receive when I am listening, when my heart is right with my God. The peace of God covers me. I am able to handle so much that goes on around me and in me.
BUT THEN … I let too much of the world in and so much of God seeps out through the cracks and crevices of me. The peace escapes and I no longer feel the close connection with God. Busy-ness of the days, violence of the world, struggles in extended family, chaos, weariness, pain, media’s negative news, it’s short blips on the screen giving us the shallow news of the day…all of these burden me and I allow them to pull me down. Instead of giving them to Jesus, as He asks me to do, I hang on and think I can handle them alone, be strong, lift the weight alone. But I am wrong.
Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.
You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. Haggai 1:5-10
God calls upon me to consider my ways. What am I doing that keeps me from knowing His peace and His love every single day, every single moment? I am ignoring His ways and busying about my own. I allow the world to infiltrate the beauty that is God that dwells within me.
The Israelites put off building God’s temple. They procrastinated. They ignored the message that this was the time to rebuild the temple.
The Hebrew figure of speech for this phrase is literally “put your heart on your roads.” Haggai asks God’s people to consider what direction their life is headed, and if they really want it to continue that way: living with a small payoff for their work in the fields, never enough to eat or drink, clothing that does not keep them warm, or earnings that just don’t pay for it all. Does any of this sound familiar? Working two jobs, or barely making enough to pay the bills or working hard yet without a finished product of fulfillment? Is my heart on God’s road for my life or mine? Is my heart headed toward the righteousness that God calls me to? He calls me to be holy for He is holy. Am I headed that way? Is my heart wide open to the call of God and am I able to hear Him with the ears of my heart?
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”
Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Haggai 1:1-4
Due to self-centeredness, me-first, God pulled away the dew, the moisture for the crops to grow. The drought stifled all that was to grow in the ground. He wanted the attention of His children. He does that today with me. The air seems dry because I am not listening. I am filling my life with worldliness. He stands aside while I “handle” things my way.
Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.
And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” Haggai 1:10-11
When ‘my world’ seems like it is caving in or bulging out, I realize that I must come back, crawl back, to God. He waits for me.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Sometimes, I have set my priorities all wrong. I am seeking me first rather than my Creator. I have given God a backseat in my life rather than the driver’s seat. I treat Him with less dignity and reverence than He deserves. I am seeking to fulfill all that I need rather than let God clothe and feed and shelter me. My doubtful faith draws me into the ways of this world. I cannot provide for myself without Him. I can never do it all by myself. His Word in Matthew 6 tells me not to be anxious but seek Him first, to depend upon Him for all my physical and spiritual needs. I listen and am reminded to consider my ways, seeking God first. FIRST.
“Consideration is only as valid as the change it produces.” Ransom Maggard
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.
Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.”
And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king. Haggai 1:12-15
I want to learn Your ways, Father God, and pray that You teach me, but I am and will consider my own ways for I want to be in Your will with each step. Oh, God, I love You and pray that I learn and listen and breathe in Your love and life and wisdom and ways. You are my God and there is no other. I pray I am learning from Haggai and will keep learning. Teach me, Father, for You are with me. I am obedient to Your voice. Amen.
quote: Ransom Maggard @ The World is Not Enough