Read Haggai 1:1-15
The driving force behind most of our lives is the desire to find satisfaction. Most of us will spend our entire lives seeking it out. There are thousands of different ways we all try to grasp this elusive satisfaction, but regardless of what “it” is we chase, the fact remains that we all do a lot of chasing. While we dedicate our lives toward striving to possess this satisfaction, the reality is that we repeatedly find ourselves closing ground on satisfaction, only to realize that we have not gained any real ground at all. Regardless of the effort we put forth in trying to satisfy ourselves, we all are confronted by a harsh reality that we are never truly satisfied with whatever it was we chased for so long. No matter how hard we try, we all want to have and be more than we are. We all bear an expectation of satisfaction that nothing in this world can truly satisfy. Whereas our expectations of satisfaction are working off of a system of perfection and purity, the things with which we seek to satisfy this deep expectation are superficial at best, and do not possess the ability to satisfy us the way we expect to.
God’s desire that we put him first is not so that we can follow in melancholy servitude. God desires our satisfaction. If God is truly God, he knows far more than we do, and this must also apply to our needs. While we convince ourselves that we have a firm grasp on what will satisfy us, the truth is that we don’t. Just as a child would argue with a parent that candy is a far better choice for dinner than vegetables and fruit, the child is speaking as a child, with underdeveloped wisdom. To another child this reasoning works, but to an adult is ridiculous. In choosing candy over nutritious food, the child is seeking to satisfy a superficial need for taste and pleasure. While this candy is satisfying on the superficial level, it offers nothing for the child’s body and health and will make life much harder on the child if the years of candy-consumption proceed. Similarly, God does not desire that we not be satisfied with our meals, but that he be fully content. He desires that we eat what will truly be good for us and will provide for a healthier, more fulfilling life over time. God is a “God with us,” and not a “God against us.” His desire that we put him first does not mean him standing front of us, frustrating our progress. Rather, he commands it so that he can lead us into a more satisfying life, and that he share in that satisfaction with us every step of the way.