Haggai 1:3-9 NKJV Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, (4) “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” (5) Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! (6) “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” (7) Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! (8) Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD. (9) “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
Fear is self-centered, because it is always focused on “ME”. Even when we fear for others (such as being afraid for someone’s safety) we are actually focused on how what happens to them will affect us. When we allow fear to drive us… we will always get our priorities out of order. This is what the Lord is addressing in Haggai chapter 1.
In Haggai chapter 1 the Jews have been released from Babylonian exile and have returned to their lands. Their focus was placed on re-building their homes and re-establishing their businesses. Neither of which is evil or a wrong thing in themselves, but their priorities were misplaced and this only led to more difficulties and delayed their progress. Their hearts were turned toward themselves and what they needed to do to address their fears. But when there was an attitude shift and their priorities to put the Lord first were realigned, the people began to enjoy the benefits of having the Lord’s presence among them.
Sometimes we lose focus on what our genuine priorities should be. We allow pressure of deadlines and fears to get our priorities out of order. God desires that our relationship with Him and our following His instruction through the Word and by His Spirit to be 1st in our lives. Keeping this priority 1st gives us strength and confidence of His presence with us as we, united with the Lord tackle any issues and circumstances that come our way.
Making the Lord first again begins with a shift in our attitude, which will lead to confidence and increased awareness of His very real presence, and then be seen in our actions. Prayer is a great place to start. It will also be seen and recognized in our devotional lives, how we see the things of God including meeting with others to worship Him, and in our service in the local church. Fear and self-centeredness will keep you running in circles. Getting our priorities right is the first step to seeing God’s plan unfolded and laid out before us so we can move ahead into all the good and great things He has in store. Fear Not!