Today I opened up my Bible to Haggai, chapter 1. This chapter is proof that God is involved in the lives of his followers. It is also proof that God wants to be the first priority as well. Following time away from Jerusalem, the people of Israel were allowed to return. They needed to rebuild their temple, as it had been destroyed in a previous battle. The managed to re-build the altar before becoming distracted with their own needs and left it stand. For eighteen years they lived in this manner- seeing to their own nice houses and desires while leaving God's house standing in ruins.
The people kept saying that it wasn't time yet to rebuild God's house, and God had other plans. He sent word to the people through the prophet Haggai, here is verses 4-6:
“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!".
God wants his house taken care of first. He wants the first priority in our lives. God's people had allowed themselves to become distracted with material wealth, and so they saw to their own desires first. And how much easier is that to do today! There is so much more to distract us, so many more things we could do with our money than give it to God for his purposes. There have been several times in the past year where God has asked Andy and I to provide something the church needed. And it wasn't like we had extra money sitting around, it was spoken for. Instead, we followed direction, and I truly believe that because we paid attention to what God placed on our hearts, and did what he wanted with our money first, that we are being rewarded by being taken care of during Andy's lay-off.
It's important to us to keep God in perspective. There have been many times where we have wished we owned the house we live in. But then a need will come up at church and we are able to take care of it- we wouldn't be as able to do that if we had the worries of home ownership and all that comes with it. One thing is certain, while we want to own our own home, we want to be able to do it without it being our prime focus. We still want to be able to take care of God's house first, and I pray wholeheartedly that we will keep that as our number one priority.