Daily Reading & Prayer
Consider Your Ways!
Daniel 10:1-12:13Ezra 4:24-5:1Haggai 1:1-15Haggai 1:5-6, 8-9, “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much but harvested little. … Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build My house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored… You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?… Because of My house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.’”
Have you ever been on a spiritual high? The world is your oyster because God is on your side, and you think, “What could possibly go wrong?” Suddenly, BOOM! You find yourself reeling because you feel attacked on all sides. It’s then you realize that the greatest mountaintop moments are also the greatest opportunities for Satan to attack, to level you, and bring you low.The Jews were on a spiritual high. They were excited to serve God and rebuild the temple. Satan saw this as a prime opportunity to cause trouble. They were met with great opposition from the land’s new inhabitants who tried to thwart their efforts at every turn. Instead of relying on God’s power, they made excuses for why they couldn’t do it. They turned their focus towards rebuilding their own homes and livelihoods. But they’d later realize that they would be met with hardships from God Himself despite their efforts. All their toil produced little because they were more concerned with themselves than they were with obeying God.As we see in the passage above, God sent a clear message that He was displeased and gave a directive that we, too, should consider: “Give careful thought to your ways.” We can deceive ourselves with excuses, but we can’t deceive our all-seeing God. Maybe what you’re spending your time and energy on is not God’s best for you. The busier you are with pursuits of this world, the less time you have for God, and the less you’ll tangibly produce.The Jews heeded this message and turned it all around in a mere twenty-three days. So, consider your ways. Is there something God wants you to do which you have put off? Do you need to shift your priorities back to God? Don’t wait. Do it today — because consistent obedience is always better than any temporary spiritual high!
Lord, Show me any areas where I’m pursuing my own interests rather than focusing on fulfilling Your will. Guide my heart to consider my ways and make any necessary changes that will help me regain footing on Your purpose-filled path. Amen.