The Pocket of Our Lives

22890707 - close up image of denim jeans pocket with a ripped hole

“Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:5-6)

It was a warm afternoon, similar to those most of us are experiencing right now across the country.  While playing a round of golf with family members, as we were walking up the ninth fairway and headed for the clubhouse for a quick break and some refreshment, a few coins glistened in the fairway ahead.  Picking them up we continued to walk to the next shot and additional coins showed themselves.  By the time we had reached the green, there was enough in pocket change to buy our foursome something in the clubhouse.  Somebody in one of the groups playing well ahead of us had a hole in their pocket.  Lost coins, ball marker, tees.

The prophet named Haggai was speaking on behalf of the Lord to this exiled people who were finally able to return to their homeland.  Jehovah God had done so much for them throughout their history and they were making the critical mistake of living their own lives and accomplishing what was most important to them while pushing the Lord and His purpose for each of them out of the center of their lives!  Because our gracious God has blessed each of us with the ability to make choices, to exercise our own free will, we must understand there is always a corresponding responsibility that accompanies choice and privilege.  God allows us to suffer the results of the bad choices we make and to enjoy the blessing for the right choices we make.

Each of us must understand that the way God fashioned and made us is directly connected to what goes on in our hearts, and every other part of our lives will be affected by what we have allowed to rule there (Proverbs 23:7).  There is just never a good time to be living without God in your life.  If we make the wrong choice and fall into the trap of worldly thinking and listen to the urgings of our adversary rather than our Creator, it will be the same as putting wages into a pocket with holes!  The imagery of this illustration is unmistakable:  you will end up at end of your life with empty pockets!

  • Satan and the world will tell us that we have plenty of time to make the changes we need to, just as the exiled peoples of our opening text believed! But the Lord was saying to them through Haggai, ‘get up and get busy!’
  • It is ALWAYS time to put God first in your life. Good intentions will never bring about “the peace that passes understanding” found exclusively in Jesus Christ!
  • When our children look at our lives (and they do look, you know), what do they see? Do they see a life being lived where God comes in first place?
  • When our grandchildren look at our lives or when they get older and see our pictures on the mantel or the wall, will they see that we have put God first? When our friends and co-workers look at our lives on a day-in day-out basis, do they see the Lord being in first place by our manner of life?

There is nothing wrong in having things … in having wealth … and in the enjoyment of life itself.  What is wrong is when any of these things, when any other person including self, occupies the throne of our heart rather than the Lord!

The takeaway from this encounter with the prophet Haggai was that the people responded in the way the Lord wanted them to and in a short time the work God wanted done got done!  Do you have a hole in the pocket of your life?  Then stop wasting your life and missing out on the real joy that comes from serving the Lord, pleasing Him and looking forward to the time by His grace that you can spend eternity with Him! This prophet of old implored the people to “Consider your ways …”


Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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