Have you ever felt like you can’t win for losing? As a believer, you know that God wants to bless you and that he wants to fill your life with meaningful relationships and meaningful work, and joy and happiness. Yet, it seems this isn’t happening to you. Your relationships flounder, your investments flounder, your dreams flounder and nothing seems to go your way. Every believer I’ve ever known has gone through a season of floundering at least once. It can be challenging but take an honest look at your heart and your motives. Are your priorities out of whack? Are you focused on secondary issues and letting the important things slide? When Christ-followers try to put God on the back burner, he does what he needs to do in order to get us back to where we need to be.
Haggai delivered to God’s people an assessment of a similar situation. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:6-7)
Has that ever described you? Are you seemingly planting much but harvesting little? Are you eating and drinking, but never feeling satisfied? Are you working all the time, earning money, but never having enough? Are you always scraping by — as if the money is spent before it comes in? Do you know that feeling? Then God says, "Consider your ways." God said this was happening because the people of Israel wanted to live under the blessing of God, but they didn't want to give him the honor due his name. So he couldn't bless them. Instead they continued through a cycle of need and never having enough and more need and not quite having enough still.
If this is the cycle of your life, consider your ways. Every shortfall that comes into your life isn't proof that God’s trying to discipline you. Shortfalls are a part of life; the rain falls on the just and the unjust, as Jesus said. But it just might be that if this has become a never ending cycle in your life, that it is time for you to take a long, hard, sober and serious look at your motives and your priorities. This is what God would say to you today: "Put me in my place. Give me the place in your life that I deserve." Now what place is that? We all know its first place. God wants to be your top priority. And he deserves to be your top priority.
The point I want to make is not: If you have problems it is certainly because you have sin. The point is this: We all need to give careful thought to our ways. God is calling us all to a life of obedience. If you're not walking in obedience, God cannot bless you the way that he wants to bless you. Give careful thought to your ways. It’s time to do some spiritual house cleaning. Check your heart today and make sure it is completely devoted to him. Because when you walk in obedience to the voice of God, you can claim his promises as your own.