How contented are you with the things you have? In today’s western society it seems like we are never content, we always seem to want more! It is as though we are never satisfied. This is evident more and more in our current society, where we have cultivated a culture of ‘not enough’. Even though we might have all the latest gadgets going, we are still looking for the next big thing. The next ‘must have’.
In the book of Haggai, we find the Israelites were exactly the same. They were overly busy satisfying themselves: “You have planted much but harvested 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” (1:6). Yet as that verse shows, though they were busy, they produced little result from their efforts. Why? Because all the while God’s temple was left in ruins (1:3-4).
The Israelites were so busy accumulating stuff that they had no time for what was really important, rebuilding God’s temple: “The people are saying ‘the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’ ” (1:2). Are you so busy that you are failing to build up the most important temple: your life?
God wants a place where he can meet with you – a place to exhibit His glory. Instead of running around building up stuff, God wants us to spend quality time with Him building our spiritual lives with His inner peace and joy; filling our hearts with His love, as we draw close to Him in fellowship and worship. Things will wither away, but our spiritual lives will live on into eternity. God wants us to stop and take stock of our lives, He wants us to judge whether we are making Him the most important one in our lives, and are actively allowing His Holy Spirit to be strengthened within us, or whether our stuff will remain our main focus.
Outside of God there is only discontentment no matter what, or how much, we may have or accumulate. One day they will all vanish, but your soul will live on:
‘Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.’
(Mat 6:19-21, NLT).