What comes to mind when you think of God’s blessings? In blog 10.1, I noted how God blessed His people in Jerusalem in Haggai’s day, and how He blesses us in our day. God’s children experience His supernatural favor when we adjust our lives to live His priorities.
We have taken the above principle as our marching order at Northeastern Baptist College. We pursue our God-given priorities [developing students and send out graduates with a Scholar’s mind, a Shepherd’s heart, and a Soldier’s perseverance] and look to Him for His supernatural favor. We do what God called us to do, and trust Him to provide for our vital needs, as we are Forming the Framework for the Future.
In Haggai’s day, the God-given priority was rebuilding the crumbled temple. God will show you what your priorities should be today.
Haggai’s final paragraph (2:20-23), his last recorded sermon, is specific. It addresses one individual: Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. What if, next Sunday morning, your pastor’s entire sermon is directed to you by name? Will it be a bit awkward? Whether or not it was awkward for Zerubbabel, God promised to bless him in unique ways. The message applies to us as well. Notice three principles concerning how God blesses His children when we consistently live out His priorities.
HE EXPOSES HIS PLANS
First, when you live out God’s priorities, He exposes His plans. Through the years I’ve counseled many who said, “I wish God would show me His plans.” Such a statement led me to ask, “Are you doing the part of God’s plan you already know?” God does not show us more of His plans until we act on what He has already shown us.
Since hearing Haggai’s first message [on Aug 19, 520 BC (Hag 1:1)], Zerubbabel had adjusted His life. Fulfilling God’s assignment became his priority. Now [Dec 18, 520 BC (2:10, 20)] the Lord revealed another part of His plan to Zerubbabel. Someday He would “shake heaven and earth” (v. 21), and fulfill His plan for the entire world.
Principle 1: Faithfully live what you know are your God-given priorities and He will be faithful to expose His plan for your next step.
HE EXECUTES HIS PROMISES
Second, when you live out God’s priorities, He executes His promises. God promised David, “Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam 7:16). God took the kingdom away from Saul’s family, but He promised to never remove the kingdom from David’s family. The promise will ultimately be fulfilled in Messiah’s eternal reign. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, is “the Son of David” (Matt 1:1).
When Judah fell to the Babylonians some thought God changed His mind. The Lord rebuked one of David’s descendants, “‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘though Coniah [also called Jeconiah and Johoiachin] the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off’” (Jer 22:24). Coniah lost his throne. Because of their rebellion against God, Judah went into captivity. Yet, God did not forget His promises. After 70 years, He took His people back to The Land.
Zerubbabel, another of David’s descendants, became Judah’s governor. Because he adjusted his life to live out God’s priorities, the Lord said, “I will make you like a signet ring” (v. 23).
A king wore a signet ring and used it to impress a wax seal on important documents. The seal indicated the document was the king’s property and had his authority even when he wasn’t present.
The Lord vested His authority in David’s descendants. Coniah rejected God’s priorities and the Lord removed him—as if taking off a signet ring. Zerubbabel adjusted his life to live out God’s priorities; the Lord made him “like a signet ring,” restoring authority to David’s family.
Zerubbabel saw the Lord execute His promises. Principle 2: Live out God’s priorities for your life and you will see the Lord execute His promises.
HE ESTABLISHES YOUR POSITION
Third, when you live out God’s priorities, He establishes your position. The Lord assured Zerubbabel, “I have chosen you” (v. 23). God had a plan and position for Zerubbabel—governor of Judah. The Lord has a plan and position for you as well. He doesn’t make everyone like a signet ring with authority to lead a nation, but He does have a specific position for you to fill.
Zerubbabel did not need to seek a position. He simple needed to live out God’s priorities and trust God to establish his position. The same is true for you and me. We need not seek a position in life. Principle 3: Live God’s priorities for your life and He will establish your position.
Consistently live according to God’s priorities for your life. He will expose His plan, execute His promises, and establish your position.
Please join us in the priority of prayer. This week, lift the FORMING THE FRAMEWORK for the FUTURE requests before the Father.
|Praise the Lord for Who He is.||Ask the Father to lead 100 people to give $100 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to impress 10 people to give $1,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to call 4 people to give $10,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to direct 2 people to give $50,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to motivate 2 people to give $250,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to inspire 1 person to give $1,000,000 above his or her normal gifts.|
|Praise the Lord for All He has done, and All He is going to do.||Ask the Father to call 20 people to give $500 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to motivate 6 people to give $5,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to impress 4 people who will give $25,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to lead 2 people to give $100,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to enable 1 person to give $500,000 above his or her normal gifts.||Ask the Father to direct 1 obedient, able person to give $2,500,000 above his or her normal gifts.|
With Great Anticipation,
Mark H. Ballard