Realligning our Priorities

Realigning Priorities

Haggai 1:1-11

“I blow it away, why?  Declares the Lord of hosts, ‘Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.”

 

            It is easy to fall into the trap of misguided priorities.  Daily we are confronted with multiple obligations and responsibilities.  Our priorities are revealed when these obligations conflict, and we are forced to choose between them.  The basis by which we make decisions reveals our attitude and priorities.

            When the people of Israel returned to the land from their exile, it was natural for them to start rebuilding homes and re-establishing their livelihood.  The problem was not in their desire to rebuild their homes and careers.  The problem was in their heart and the priorities they had set in life.  In Ezra 4, we find that the people had returned to the land with the task of rebuilding the nation of Israel, and this began with the rebuilding of the Temple, which was to be the center of Jewish life.  However, opposition soon arose, and the people became discouraged and fearful.  As a result, they stopped building because of fear and discouragement (Ezra 4:4-14).  For the next 16 years (from 536 B.C. to 520 B.C.), the sounds of the workers went silent.  As a result, their focus and priority shifted; the temple was no longer the focus.  While their houses became more and more elaborate and elegant, the temple remained in ruin and disrepair. They were no longer concerned about the temple and the worship of God.  They started to use excuses, “The time is not yet right.”  It was no longer convenient.

            When they started to have struggles in their daily life, the circumstances began to turn against them.  Crops were short, people lacked food and water, and poverty and deprivation began sweeping across the land.  When they cried out to God, God responded through the prophet that the problem was their priority.  They were focusing on their agenda rather than God’s agenda.  God and the worship of him were being pushed lower and lower down on the priority list.  Instead of walking in obedience, they were neglecting the worship of God.

            This can quickly happen to us as well.  Our relationship with God can soon become secondary in the daily affairs of life. In our busy, activity-filled life, we are stretched.  Time becomes short, and the demands of life become overwhelming.  It is during these times that our priories are revealed.  When confronted with two conflicting demands of our time and energy, what we choose to do reveals our value system.  We make choices.

Our kids’ sports activities take precedence over the church.  The demands of our job cause us to spend more and more time at work rather than with our family and attending a weekly Bible Study.  Fifty years ago, a person went to church Sunday Morning for Sunday School and the worship service, Sunday Evening, and often to a mid-week Bible and prayer meeting.  Now we hardly have time in our busy schedules to attend a one-hour Worship service.  But the problem is not with our time; the problem is with our priorities.  How we spend our time, money, and energy reflects what we value.  When God and church continually are pushed aside under the guise of “I have other places to go,” it reveals that our priority is not our relationship with God but in sports, activities, and personal pursuits.  Suppose you continually find yourself unable to go to church or spend time cultivating your relationship with God. In that case, it indicates that you have the wrong priorities in your life, and you need to rethink your values.  

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