Daily Devotional for Friday August 29, 2003
Living beneath God's blessings
( Haggai 1:3-11 )
Living beneath God's blessings. As I was reading the Bible the other night, I was reading the Book of Haggai and realized that people have never really changed even after all of these years. How much the people of God spoken about in the Book of Haggai were EXACTLY like the people of God today. Let me set the context for you. The year is 520 BC. King Darius, the Medo-Persian king allowed a remnant of the children of Israel to return to Jerusalem after being held in captivity for 70 years by the Babylonians so that they could rebuild the Temple.
However, the people of God were not as interested in rebuilding the house of God as they were in building their own houses. God spoke through His prophet, Haggai, to let them know that because of their selfishness, they were missing the blessings of God. That is what I want to share with you today. How because of our selfishness, we are living beneath God's blessings. How we become so focused on OUR LIFE, on OUR GOALS, on OUR DREAMS, on OUR DESIRES, we have forsaken the work of God and are missing His blessings.
There is not one person reading this today that doesn't want God's blessings in their life. Even those who don't believe there is a God, still want His blessings. The reality is, GOD WANTS TO BLESS YOU! Jesus said, "it is your Father's pleasure to give you the Kingdom." But just like there are natural laws that govern the earth, there are spiritual laws that govern the Kingdom of God. Let me give you the key to God's blessings. GOD CANNOT AND WILL NOT BLESS DISOBEDIENCE. Let me say that one more time. GOD CANNOT AND WILL NOT BLESS DISOBEDIENCE. If you want God's blessings, the first thing that you must do is live in accordance with His Word. The Bible tells us that "to obey is better than sacrifice." God said, "Oh that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever." GOD'S BLESSINGS FLOW FROM OUR OBEDIENCE!!!
So let's go one step further and look at the very first commandment. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Most of us feel pretty safe that we obey this commandment. After all, we don't worship the sun, or the clouds, or a chair, or a tree. We don't have hundreds of gods that we pray to. But I want to tell you today that whenever you put yourself before God, you have literally taken Him off HIS throne and put yourself on it! You have said, "my will...not thy will be done." How can we live in blatant disobedience to the very first commandment and still expect God to bless us? He can't, and He won't! That is why the Bible says, "you expected much, but see, it turned out to be little." If we truly want God's blessings, the first step is to put God back in His rightful place, on His throne as the Lord of our life and live in obedience to what He calls us to do each day.
I love you and care about you so much. Today's scripture really shows us how empty this life can be without God's blessings. It is no wonder why so many turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, money...anything to escape. It is frustrating to live without God's blessings. I am not talking so much about the material blessings as I am the SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. Don't you realize that there is no amount of money to buy true peace, not enough gold in the world to buy real joy, not enough real estate on the planet to buy the abundant life that God has offered us. What price can you put on hope? This world is lost, hurting, and without hope because it is living without God and without His blessings.
I will be praying for you today to accept the same challenge that the prophet Haggai gave the children of Israel 2,500 years ago. Start rebuilding the house of God in your heart. Take the focus off of building YOUR HOUSE, and put it on building GOD'S HOUSE. Take the focus off of what YOU want to do, and put it on what God wants you to do. God wants to bless you abundantly so that you eat and are full, so that you drink and are never thirsty. God wants to bless YOU TODAY! Isn't it time to stop living beneath His blessings, and start receiving all of the blessings that HE has for your life?
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In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller