Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 10). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices.
Consider your ways. Think about them. Think about your ways throughout your days, your weeks, your years. Why do you do what you do, when you do what you do? Perhaps you’re like me and the mere question stirs up guilt, shame, or nervousness over what you aren’t doing? Or, maybe it stirs up pride in what you are legalistically boasting in.
Over the past few weeks our Sunday morning Bible fellowship has been studying the book of Haggai and it’s really shaken me up. The book of Haggai takes place after the people of God returned from their exile in Babylon and almost twenty years later God’s temple still remains in ruins. Apparently, the people decided repairing and restoring the temple wasn’tthat important: “These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD (Haggai 1:2).”
About that time, the word of the LORD came by the hand of his prophet, Haggai:
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:3-5)
The knife of conviction twists as I think about how often I waste time on longing after, pursuing, building, and dwelling in my own version of “paneled houses”- all those objects of my affection that don’t really matter in the scheme of eternity – how I look when I walk out the door, the trendiness of my house’s decor, how many friends “liked” my status on Facebook today, or how many loads of laundry I tackled. Like God’s people in the days of Haggai, I often find myself sowing much and harvesting little, drinking but never having my fill, earning wages to “put them into a bag with holes (1:6).”
The Lord’s strong admonition through Haggai, is “Consider your ways.”
In those days, God called the people to rebuild His temple so that He may take pleasure in it and be glorified (1:8). As they work, He calls the people to be strong (2:4) and to work knowing He is with them according to the covenant He made with them (2:3-5). He reminds them to “Fear not,” for He will “fill this house with glory (2:5-7).”
Every day when I consider my ways, I face the reality of my own sin and the laws I’ve broken and neglected. But every day, unlike Haggai and the Israelite people He prophesied to, I have the privilege of standing in the beautiful grace I’ve received through Christ.
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
My desire to pursue holiness, to glorify the Lord in my earthly body, and to see the world come to the saving knowledge of Christ, requires me to regularly “consider my ways” and to keep a focused eye on eternity. But the grace I receive in Christ allows me to work diligently with a humble heart, knowing it is Christ who is accomplishing His purposes in and through me.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Consider your ways today. What do you need to ask the Lord to help you prioritize for Him to be glorified and His name be known