Today, I was listening to a really challenging sermon, on the biblical book of Haggai. It is a book within the Old Testament, and is considered part of the “minor prophets” books in the Bible.
For those of you who have never read this book in the Bible—it is, after all, a book that I think gets missed a lot—this is the jist of it (as helped by this website): after the Israelites were exiled to a foreign land because of their idolatry, Nehemiah and others were called to return back to Jerusalem, to start building up its walls. Fast forward many years, and many of the exiled Israelites were back in Jerusalem, rebuilding their lives. But there is one problem: no one seems interested in rebuilding the Holy Temple in Jerusalem—or, they are not as interested in rebuilding the Temple as they are interested in carrying out their own agendas above God’s. God speaks through the prophet Haggai, showing the Israelites that they were wrong in their list of priorities. They agree, making the rebuilding of the Temple—God’s Work—the priority.
This biblical account reminded me a bit of the story of Mary and Martha; Mary sat as Jesus’ feet, making time enjoying His Presence the priority, while her sister, Martha, made the many things that seemingly needed to be done right that second the priority.
Now, honestly, Martha saw service to Christ as an incredibly important thing; and it is! But, according to Jesus, it is not as important as spending time at His Feet. “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one,” Jesus told Martha. “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV).
Back to Haggai. As I listened to the sermon, my heart was “pricked” with conviction. How many times have I ignored God’s will and plan for my day, my season, my life? What are the things—the distractions, the apathy, the chores, and the self-centeredness—in my life that keep me from obeying Jesus wholeheartedly, especially within this blog?
112 Chibok girls are still held captive, with only God knowing their true location and situation. Yet, how many times have I valued merely checking things off my to-do list (including writing these blogs), without even praying about the people said blog post is for? Way more than I would like to admit.
This is not meant to condemn. I know that I am under Jesus’ blood; every follower of Christ, is. And it is not wrong, in the least, to enjoy your life or to get chores and errands done! But I want to ask this same question that has been rolling around in my mind, to you: What is keeping you from doing what Christ has asked you to do?
I have realized that I need to pray much more than I need to write about praying.
At times, do you feel that the work Christ has for us to do can feel mundane, challenging, or heavy? It is not meant to be this way. Christ does not call us to carry around a heavy, religious burden! He calls us to cast all of our cares and burdens onto HIM, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22). Whatever He has asked you to do, He Himself will give you all you need to complete the task He has given you.
If Christ has asked you to do something today, don’t let the many cares of this world and an endless to-do list keep you from it. Make the one thing He has definitely called you to do the priority: time alone with Him, the thing that “is better, and will not be taken away from you.” As you spend precious time with your First Love, offer yourself and your life fully to Him, and watch Him move!
This blog post is in tribute to Leah Sharibu, whose 15th birthday was had in Boko Haram captivity on May 15th, all because she refused to convert to Islam. Please pray that she would be freed, very soon.
Do you know Jesus?
Jesus Christ—God the Son—came down, out of blissful and perfect heaven, for you.
Not so that you would just be a convert, another mere slave to do His Will (though doing His Will is apart of it).
No. He came to earth, and died the death you and I deserved, merely so that we would have a personal relationship with Him. He only wanted to have us near to Him, walking in the light of His Presence, and enjoying a saving relationship with Him, the One who did. It. All.
Learn more about this amazing, beautiful God, here!
Please pray for (you can find the prayer sheet for this blogpost, here):
- Leah Sharibu, her friends, family, and loved ones. Please pray that her mother would not succumb to her many health issues brought on by Leah’s kidnapping; please pray that Christ would protect, strengthen, and comfort His People as they await her freedom/rescue.
- For the Chibok schoolgirls. You can read about them, and receive their names and pictures, here.
- That I would focus much more on praying for these girls, instead of merely writing about them as if it is only something I need to “check off my list.” Pray that I would get to the heart of the matter.
Thank you for all of your prayers.