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THE TIME IS NOW! Our Call to Put God First and Follow His Leading



I've mentioned this on the blog before, but I'm going through the Old Testament minor prophets (all those short books before the New Testament begins), and I'm often amazed at how applicable these books can be. Right when I start to get bored and think it's all the same, the Lord opens my eyes to something new, relatable, and convicting, and I'm so thankful for that.


I think we tend to fall into this belief that since Jesus came, the Old Testament doesn't really matter anymore, but that is not true at all! Every part of the Bible is the spoken word of God, a love letter of sorts from Him to us, and so while Jesus did come to fulfill many parts of the Old Testament, there are still an infinite number of things that God wants to teach us and speak to us through the Old Testament.


And through Haggai, chapter 1, God confirmed a conviction within me.


Get off the couch.


The time is now.


You see, the Israelites had come out of a Babylonian exile, and although hundreds of thousands of people went into this exile, only about 50,000 came out of it - the remnant of people who were most devoted to the Lord's work. But as they're back home, their priorities are way out of whack. They're spending all of their time building nice, luxurious houses for themselves, all while the temple is lying in ruins. They've neglected serving the Lord and bringing Him glory, and instead focusing on what will make them more comfortable.


But the thing is, while their houses are nice, they aren't even thriving! The Israelites are facing financial difficulty and aren't truly satisfied, because they haven't put God first in their lives.


When we don't put God where He belongs in our heart, lives, and to-do lists (in the #1 spot), the rest of our lives literally will not fall into place. We cannot thrive if we are not seeking and serving Him first, and I think sometimes we forget that. We get busy and start to put God on the back burner, and then we wonder why we're burnt out and barely keeping our head above the water. The truth is, God has to be on the throne of our hearts and the King of our lives, or else we'll notice how every other area is struggling and falling behind.


My favorite part, though, is God's call to action.


This whole time, the Israelites are making excuses, saying "it's not time to rebuild the temple yet". Well, God has a different idea. He instructs them to go, gather the materials for the temple, and build His house. Basically, He's saying that it's time for these people to get out of their fancy houses and get their hands dirty, working for His glory.


And maybe He's telling us to do the same.


I think that too many of us have gotten too comfortable, and we've either begun neglecting our relationship with God, and/or neglecting the work He's called us to do. The truth is, neither of these things are easy. Investing in a relationship with the Lord and obeying whatever He's called us to do is often challenging and uncomfortable, but it is so so so important that we follow His word and lean into a relationship with Him (because like we talked about earlier, when we don't, we really won't thrive).


So here's my question for you:


What is it that the Lord has been asking you to do that you simply haven't done yet?


Maybe it's forgiving someone or beginning to tithe. Maybe it's checking in on a friend or scheduling ice cream with someone to invest in their life. Maybe it's volunteering, apologizing, or making a decision. Maybe it's telling a friend about Jesus or inviting them to church. Maybe it's making the conscious decision to say no to that sin you've been struggling with for a while, or telling someone about whatever it is that you're wrestling with alone right now. I don't know what that looks like for you, but it's probably going to be a little bit uncomfortable. And that's okay! When we get uncomfortable, our faith is challenged to be deepened and we learn to lean into the Father's grace and strength a little bit more.


But the point is - today, I want you to take that first step to doing whatever it is you know He's calling you to do but you haven't done yet. Get your hands a little bit dirty and take the plunge. Ask Him for His strength and guidance, and then go do it. Follow His lead and obey! It's okay if it's scary - do it scared, and do it in His strength.


Because the really amazing thing is, once the Israelites started rebuilding the temple, God put a fire in their hearts for His work. He ignited a passion within them, and they were all moved to continue to obey and do what He called them to do, even if that meant getting uncomfortable and doing some hard work. Once you say yes to God and whatever it is He's telling you to do, He will meet you in that place, and He will help you. He will provide for you and make it happen, because the really incredible thing is - God doesn't want us to do anything alone. He wants us to participate in His plan, and He wants it to be a partnership between us and Him. Isn't that so beautiful?

 

The time is now.


It's time to do whatever it is the Lord has put on your heart. It's time to obey whatever He's called you to do. It's time to put the Lord on the throne of your heart and worship Him above all else.


What does this look like for you? What do you know it's time to do? Let me know down in the comments below, and I'll be praying for you!

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