I came across a quote some time ago in Forbes magazine by Denise Thomas. She says the following: “Knowing when to sacrifice one thing over another comes down to value and prioritization and it is different for everyone.” Her thought is that we all have those that we value and prioritize in our lives and that we will sacrifice for those values and priorities. It is different for everyone. This has a great application for God’s people.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, we find a time when God’s people return to their homeland after being in exile for several years. The return and lay the foundation for God’s temple that had been destroyed when the enemy came and carried the nation off into slavery. Fast forward fifteen years and nothing has changed. The foundation of the temple is there, but there are no columns, there are no materials to perform the sacrifices, and there is no concern or sense of urgency to get it done. God sends His prophet Haggai to wake the people up from their slumber. Haggai has one message and that is “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:7)
As thought provoking as our English translation may be, there is another powerful way to view Haggai’s message and that is through the lenses of the Hebrew idiom that Haggai invokes. That idiom, in English, reads “Put your hearts on Your roads”. God, through His prophet, wants His people to give serious thought to the road they have been walking the past fifteen years. It is a road that has led them away from valuing God and His glory. Because of valuing and prioritizing the wrong things, Israel sacrifices for the wrong things.
This is a message that we need to heed today. The call of Christians is to value and prioritize what God does. This is the message of Jesus in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Christians are to value God, His righteousness, and His kingdom. So, the question then becomes, how do I know if I am valuing and prioritizing like I should? The answer is simple, what road is your heart walking?
If you are not sure what the path looks like, may the prayer of David be your prayer every morning. Psalm 25:4: “Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.” If your heart is on the wrong road, may the words of the Hebrew writer lead you to a course correction. Hebrews 12:12-13: “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
My prayer for you today is that the Lord bless your with wisdom to put your heart on the road that will lead you to a life that values, prioritizes, and sacrifices for God to His Glory!