“You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but are never filled. You drink, but are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but are not warm. Those who earn wages end up with holes in their money bags.” (Haggai 1:6, NET Bible)
If that is not an indictment of many our faith-walks, I don’t know what is. Look and listen to the Lord’s words. “You have planted…..You eat…You drink….You put on clothes….Those who earn wages….”Isn’t that what many of us still doing today? We plant seeds and expect them to just grow. Do we even try to harvest the little that does grow so that we may obtain more seeds for future harvests? This applies to the Church at least as much as anywhere else. We do things “for the Lord” and then leave it to the Lord to deal with. That’s like preaching the Gospel and drawing people into the fold of Christ but never discipling them so that the Truth that has been planted might blossom into well-rooted faith.
We eat the fruits of our own labors but because we have compartmentalized the sundry facets of our lives, we forget that it is God who has given us our jobs and our paychecks that bought the food. We arrogantly take the credit and expect to be satisfied. Without God, who truly sustains us all the days of our lives, there is no real satisfaction.
We are the proverbial “woman at the well.” We expect to be refreshed by the lives we live on our own terms. But we don’t welcome Christ’s Spirit into the heart of everything we do. We might as well be saying that He is not risen; that He does not, in truth, live for us and live in us! If we can but hear and listen to the Words of Christ Jesus, we will be well nourished and our thirsts will be satisfied in a manner that is totally foreign to us. Hearing His Words and following His Will are our true food and drink. It’s when we rely on our own works and depend upon earthly “wages” that we become spiritually starved and dehydrated and completely unsatisfied. It is then that there is no life in us and an emptiness that can never be filled.
So, my brothers and sisters, let us no longer rely upon ourselves for our wants and desires. Let us want what God wants, let us desire to be good and faithful servants of our Father. Let us turn things around by letting God plant the seeds in our lives and then go to work tending His fields. Surely the Owner of the field will not let His workers go hungry or lack whatever it is they need in order to continue working! Our Master is a good and loving Lord. We all need to remember that, and place our faith firmly in His outstretched arms.
"Lord we believe! Help our Unbelief! AMEN."
Today, ask God what He wants for you and then set to work for the Master. His is the Way to an eternal life that is out of this world.
Christopher Randolph holds a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He currently lives with his family in Colorado.