In my pursuit of God I have encountered many obstacles. Lots of times I blame others (do you?) for interfering with my pursuit. Other times I blame the devil (well, he’s ALWAYS at fault). Sometimes I have even found myself to be a hindrance. Today, however, I made a discovery that has really set me back on my heels. I was reading the beautiful book of Haggai and it hit me right between the eyes – I am my biggest hindrance in the pursuit of godliness and the person of God. I am. Me. It’s me, it’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer!
I’m sure you are all aware that the Bible is like an onion. We might read a scripture and find it has one meaning today and another meaning or application the next time we read it. And yet again, the next time we run across that same verse, it has an entirely different impact upon us. I love that about Scripture. It never gets old. It is new every morning. And this morning it was REALLY new as I saw myself in a mirror of the words of Haggai.
Like all Christians I want to be about the Father’s business. Part of the business is getting to know Him intimately and sharing our lives with Him in constant communion and fellowship. Another part of that business is the care of other Christians as well as spreading the good news to anyone and everyone about the wonderful love available to them.
This morning I discovered that I haven’t been about the Father’s business at all. I’ve been about my business. I’ve been focused on me me me to the point of yuckism. I read Scripture to learn about the Father (so I tell myself) and yet when the Father exposes a part of me that needs work I justify and rationalize — with words like “you made me this way” and “how can I change that? It’s part of my personality that you created.”
There are times I recognize my sin and confess it to Father and repent, making an honest effort to change. Sounds so holy doesn’t it?
Here’s what I learned this morning: we are all so busy working on ourselves – our outer selves – that we are neglecting the temple of God – the true temple of God – our hearts. Our hearts are His sanctuary (if we have accepted Christ) and we are living our lives as if once Christ comes in the work is finished. Well, certainly salvation is finished. Yet WE aren’t finished. We have heart issues that are polluting the temple, the sanctuary of God. Things like offense, bitterness, envy, laziness, slothfulness, mediocrity, gluttony, judging others rather than ourselves, fear, anxiety, resentment, pride, rebellion, etc. etc. etc. The list of what we carry in our hearts and minds is staggering, and the impact it has on our lives and those around us is also staggering.
My latest revelation was resentment. I carry resentment in my heart which Holy Spirit revealed this morning as I read the sweet notes of love in Haggai 1:4Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
The Lord’s house lies in waste as we focus on everything except His desires. Today I am consciously working on shifting my focus to be on His desires. I am going to do my best to incorporate that into my daily walk, not because I think it will earn me any great rewards or a better ‘mansion’ in paradise, but because it is what He asks of me. How can I do any less? Look what He’s done……
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?