Monday, May 10, 2010

Encouragement: Rearrange Priorities to Rebuild Your Life

Past few weeks we have been meditating in the church here on the book of Haggai in the Old Testament history. The Prophet Haggai was called to encourage the people of Jerusalem t return to the task of rebuilding God's house. The task of rebuilding the Temple was difficult; so is the task of rebuilding our lives. There will always be obstacles, but we don't have to let them stop us. When we feel like quitting, we can remember the message of Haggai. God is there to help and protect us each step of the way. As God's people had t reassess their spiritual lives in the rebuilding process, we need to examine our lives and act to prove our inner changes. We, like the people of Jerusalem, can respond to Haggai's message and move forward in the rebuilding and restoration process.

God's Plan Must Come First
When we face obstacles to God's plan for us, it is easy to get sidetracked from our primary mission; it is tempting to follow the way of least resistance. The people of Jerusalem started rebuilding God's Temple but then met with stiff opposition. Instead of trusting God and standing up to the opposition, the people turned away from the rebuilding project God had for them and built their own homes instead. We tend to make the same mistake. When we face an obstacle to our spiritual growth, we may turn away and take the way of least resistance. We may lower our standards, give in to sin, avoid confession, stop seeking God, and neglect relationships with those who hold us accountable. We may even look for a spiritual path that looks easier because it excludes God. But when we reject God's plan, we also reject His power and blessings in our lives. We can not experience spiritual renewal and fulfillment apart from following God's Will, even though that may not always be easy.

We will Face Obstacles
The rebuilding process is never easy. Satan will rear his ugly head time and again as we seek God and surrender to Him. The Judeans faced numerous obstacles as they sought to rebuild the Temple. Local leaders repeatedly tried to stop the work. The people became afraid and gave up on the task God had given them to do. With God's help and the encouragement of Haggai, however, the task went on, and the rebuilding of God's Temple was completed. God wants us to grow spiritually, and He will help us to overcome the obstacles if we look to Him for help.

Rebuilding Requires Action
It is much easier to recognize a problem than it is to do something about it. God's people in Jerusalem knew the Temple needed to be rebuilt if their nation was to get back in line with God's will. They had set out to complete the task but hd then become discouraged and failed to follow through. Their failure to act over a period of years brought continued suffering upon them. Haggai called the people to act; he calls us to do the same. When seeking spiritual renewal, we must go beyond the recognition of our need. We must use the keys God gives us to move toward reconciliation with God, ourselves, and others. As painful as this process can be at times, we will be moving toward restoration.

" From this day I will bless you." Haggai 2:19

Be Encouraged

A.Othniel
(www.aothniel.net)

Letter # 18 (9. 5. 2010)