Have you ever had one of those times where it seemed as if nothing was going your way?
You worked hard. You did it right. You gave your all. Yet you got little in return.
You satisfy a need. Answer the request. Fill the bill. Yet it doesn’t seem enough.
You do everything you can. Everything you should. Dot every “i” & cross every “t”. Yet something unexpected happens.
You earn a good living. You get paid well. You have plenty of stuff. You even have stuff for your stuff. Yet you never seem to have enough money to meet the month.
If you have ever had any of the above happen to you, then welcome to the Club. The Club of Misplaced Focus. Our membership goes way back to 520 BC, the second year of King Darius of Persia as Haggai addresses. You can read of these exact challenges—under-compensated, unsatisfied, unprepared, unfulfilled—in Haggai 1:6.
So what’s the problem?
Why don’t I get the expected return for my effort?
Why can’t I seem satisfy my nagging need?
Why aren’t I ready for everything, try as I might?
Why doesn’t my income cover all my expenses?
Could my problem be the same as those of God’s people that Haggai prophesied to? Misplaced focus? Unprioritized God? The Nation of Judah had been carried off into exile in 586 BC. Was freed to return home by the Edict of Cyrus in 538 BC. And home they went. Restored their homes. Worked to get things back to normal. And got back to life without an oppressive, foreign overlord. Yet they forgot God.
God asked about their misplaced focus citing that they were living “in paneled (translate, ‘nice’) houses, while this house remains in ruin?” (1:4). “This house” wasn’t just any house. It was His house—the Temple—His dwelling among His people, THE place where His people could worship Him.
“Give careful thought to your ways,” God said in Haggai 1:5. Your ways. Your focus. Your priorities. They had taken care of themselves. Yet they neglected God. He alone was their Covenant Father, Redeemer, Provider, and the One, True God.
Priorities. It may not always be the case—but it certainly could be the case—that my circumstances of being under-compensated, unsatisfied, unprepared, and unfulfilled are as a result of God trying to get my attention in a language I understand. God speaks Human. He knows selfishness is our native language.
Don’t misunderstand me.
It’s not wrong to expect a fair return for your labor.
It’s not wrong to desire satisfaction from any pursuit.
It is not wrong to want to be prepared for anything.
It is not wrong to make a good living to provide for your family and others.
It is wrong to forget God in the process of living the very life He has given me. God speaks human. God will get my attention. Sometimes using ways that make me uncomfortable.
Do not forget God. Honor Him. Worship Him. Thank Him. Serve Him. Prioritize Him.
Read or listen to all of Haggai here on YouVersion. It’s only 38 verses. And consider these questions:
- Where does my personal relationship with God rank in my current priorities?
- How can I place a sharper focus on my love relationship with God?
- What has to change in order for prioritizing God to really happen? What do I have to start or stop?
This post based on Haggai is the tenth post from a series of twelve, Major Stuff from the Minor Prophets. Please share this post using the link below or subscribe to this site via email at the top right. You are welcome to leave your comments below as well. To hear the related sermon, subscribe via iTunes or visit here next Monday.