What does God say about keeping momentum for our goals?
[Darris McNeely] I’ve been studying the book of Haggai, speaking on it, and doing a little writing about that topic that is told in the Old Testament prophecy of the book of Haggai, one of the Minor Prophets. It’s an interesting story. It is set in the ancient world in Israel, in Jerusalem. And it’s the story of the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem, to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed approximately seventy years earlier. The people went back and they began with a great deal of energy to do the job that they had been told to do by God, and even commissioned by the Persian king Cyrus. But they met some opposition, and they stopped doing the job. And some time elapsed and then God sent the prophet Haggai to stir them up and to revive their work and the renewal. And the lessons that are told there, I think are very encouraging and very helpful for you and I.
We often start out with a sense of wanting to make changes, get a job done, accomplish a goal. But resistance sets in, and we don’t get it done, and we put it back on the shelf. It happens to all of us. It’s part of life. Haggai gives us some lessons as to how to consider this.
In the book of Haggai 1:7, as God sent the prophet to stir the people back to the job of rebuilding the temple, he told them one thing at this point. He said, “Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:7. “Consider your way” is a fancy way of saying, “repent” or “change”. Renew yourself. Revive yourself. Get back to what you were doing. They had forgotten their story. They forgot who they were. And they let opposition or resistance from, in this case, people who didn’t want them to rebuild the temple. But for you and I, resistance or opposition comes sometimes from our own internal fear, inability to get something done – and we let the job down. We don’t get it accomplished. We have to be brought to a point where we consider our ways, we make a change. God told them, “Look, get your mind back on the purpose of who you are, your story.” Essentially, what He was saying is something that Christ Himself says in Matthew 6:33 – well-known statement, which is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. The people in Haggai’s day were not really getting things done. They were spinning their wheels on their own personal lives because they had neglected the very purpose of their lives, which was at that moment to rebuild the temple of God.
What’s your purpose? What is your goal? Does it align with what God’s goal is for the kingdom of God, for us to be a part of that kingdom? Spiritual righteousness? Consider your ways. This first lesson from the book of Haggai offers all of us an opportunity to stop and look around, consider how we are and even what we’re doing in relation to God and His purpose that He has outlined for us. We’ll come back and we’ll talk about the second lesson that the people had to learn when we consider part two in the message of Haggai.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.