Haggai 1:5-6 “Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.”
Hard work with nothing to show…
That’s the illustration God has shown me. As I have grown in my faith as a born-again child of God, I can see the fruit of work in the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit’s work in and through me.
I have known times when I rush off, unprepared, or trusting I know what I am doing only to see that taking time with God in His Word and talking with Him would have made what I faced so much easier.
I have seen times when I have either witnessed, sang or taught or preached in the flesh and the fruit – or lack – was evident. But I have also seen when in sweet submission to the Holy Spirit, how He worked in people’s lives.
I have seen conviction come over a soul; tears flowing as a child of God gets right with the Father. I have been present when the Holy Spirit’s movement on a congregation brought many to salvation; singing a song where the truth of it brought people to their knees at an altar. These are memories that will carry into eternity.
So, to work so hard and have it disintegrate before your eyes – or fall out as to put into a bag filled with holes would be disheartening, depressing and downright destructive to my spirit.
I have adopted a few principles to keep from having much of my work fall through the cracks or put into a bag with holes:
- Start every day with God
- Never neglect prayer – no matter however small, I know He hears me.
- Always ask to be filled for whatever it is I do – from church work to home to my secular job.
- Give God the praise when the fruit does come.
My battle – our battle – with the flesh will not end until this body goes back to the earth and my soul rises into the arms of my Savior. I do not think I can sustain a perfect record of never sinning or failing until then. But I can have the clear understanding that God stands as the prodigal’s father – waiting for my return to Him.
We must so love that closeness with our Heavenly Father! So much so, that we guard it to keep it fresh and clean.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The gifts we all possess are to be used for His glory. To do so, has given me the greatest joy and peace that I have ever known. To see that God chose to use me to help someone is humbling. To be present when a soul trusts Christ as Savior is to stand in His presence as the Holy Spirit takes residence.
I have witnessed answers to prayers – EVERY answer to prayer is miraculous! To think that the God of Heaven heard, and then answered is amazing! To be tricked or deceived into accepting less should be abhorrent to us.
Wherever you find yourself today, desire the close, personal touch that comes with sweet submission to the Spirits leading. Then, immerse yourself in that love, joy and peace.