Advance, By Advancing The Kingdom
“From this day on I will bless you.” Haggai 2:19 NIV
We live in a time when our success is measured by how far we have advanced ourselves and our situations. How high have we advanced up the income ladder? How advanced are we in our job situation? Have we advanced to the point where the car we drive is nicer than that of most others? We push to achieve so we can claim success in our lives. How is that push working for you? Are you happy with your place on the ladder?
The irony is that the more we strive to elevate our position, the more frustrated and disenchanted we become. In Haggai, we learn a valuable lesson in this regard. The people of Israel had worked to improve their own homes and lives but had put forth no efforts to building the Lord’s house. Because they thought of their needs and improved situation rather than on the Lord’s they had suffered a great deal of frustration. They would plant a lot but yield very little. They would eat and drink but never be satiated. They would earn money only to find they could never get ahead because they did not give priority to the things of God.
Have you ever expressed discouragement because you work and save but seem unable to get ahead? Maybe it is time to consider what the people in Haggai’s time had to come to terms with. The way to advance your situation is to first give attention to advancing the Kingdom of God!
Once the people revised their agenda they would see untold blessings develop in their personal lives. He told them to note that the day that they laid the first stone for the house of the Lord things would change. Previously they had struggled and seen no fruit for their labors. But from that day on they realize a difference. Because from that day on, according to 2:19, God was going to bless them and God is always a God of abundance!
When we turn from our selfish ambitions and make God’s priorities our priorities, when we yield our personal agendas and focus instead on advancing the Kingdom of God, then the blessings will come. Until that time and change of attitude, you can expect to continue to walk in the frustration of working hard but never getting ahead. The choice is yours.
J Todd Hostetler