Consider Your Ways
Each evening, I enter my prayer room and begin my time of silence in preparation for my Examen prayer. It is a time where I consider my ways. As I pray the Examen, I am led by the Spirit of God over my day to see where did I see God moving today. I also examine where I have been most distant from God. Where are the places I chose to move in my will instead of God’s will? I end my time of prayer, giving thanks to God and praying for strength in the day ahead.
In the Old Testament book of Haggai, the Jewish remnant, Judah, was asked to consider their ways. “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:5-6 NKJV.
The remnant was commanded to give careful thought to their ways. What was happening to Judah? They were eating, drinking, clothing themselves, earning wages. All the necessities of life, but they were not quenched. They were left hungry, thirsty, cold, and no wages.
Judah was not withholding their resources, but they experienced hardship because they had misplaced priorities. Judah was more concerned with their comfort and extravagance to the neglect of God and his temple. They were building up their kingdom while the temple of the Lord remained in ruins. “’You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.’” Haggai 1:9 NKJV.
Judah not only neglected to rebuild the temple of the Lord, but they failed to rebuild their lives in relationship to God. What about our priorities? Do we clear space and time in our schedules to sit before the Lord? Or, are we busy building our lives to the neglect of obedience to God?
How can we develop kingdom values into our agenda, community, life? How can we see through God’s perspective and make his priorities our priorities?
It begins by placing God at the center of who we are and all we do. We must evaluate our service, making sure all we do brings pleasure and glory to God. As God promised to be with Judah; likewise, God is present with us by his Spirit within us. God told Judah he would fill the temple with his glory. Today, we are the temple of the Lord, and he has filled us. “But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18 NKJV.
When I pray through the Examen each evening, I ask God to search my heart for those ways that do not reflect the priorities of the kingdom. Let us remember to be faithful to ask the Lord to stir up our spirit to do his will.