Defeating the Dr. Phil Q

This is what the LORD Almighty says:
Consider how things are going for you!
Haggai 1:7 NLT

Did you ever watch Dr. Phil? He’s most affectionately known for two things:

  1. Not a real Doctor.
  2. Asking his struggling guests “How’s that workin’ out for you?” after they share their life story of strife and frustration.

Doctor or not, that’s a pretty powerful question. And Dr. Phil was not the first to ask it. It goes all the way back to Biblical times. In the book of Haggai, God used the prophet Haggai to give his people a serious gut check.

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy you thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! Consider how things are going for you! (Haggai 1:5-7 NLT ’96)

It sounds just like an episode of Dr. Phil! Aaaaaand, if I’m being really honest, it sounds just like something God’s been saying to me, too…

You invest your time, energy, resources in a lot of projects, but you see tiny results. Even after eating and drinking much, you still feel empty. You have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. You spend money with the discipline of a 5 year old. How’s that going for you? 


So, if God’s asking and the answer isn’t pretty, the obvious solution is to change something. In Haggai’s day, God was asking them to put aside their selfish ambitions while His temple lay abandoned in dis-repair. In my day, might God be asking the same?

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

Ouch. Again, I’m seeing how similar I am to the “morons” in the Old Testament who can never seem to figure things out.

But here’s the part that melts my heart. God doesn’t leave us alone in a corner licking our wounds. He offers us a starting point to change available to us at ANY MOMENT. And, HIS motivation speech DOES NOT include the phrase “try harder”

Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: ‘I am with you, says the LORD!So the LORD sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtie, governor of Judah, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people. They came and began their work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God. (Haggai 1:13-14 NLT ’96)

Not only does he offer us the answer for deep, meaningful change, but He can also influence our motivation to do them! I don’t need to be stuck in a rut or struggling with doing the same things while expecting different results. I don’t even need to fear my weak will power. He will spark my enthusiasm! He will stir up my spirit.

And now, try asking me “How’s that going for you?“…


Dear Lord, I need in my life. You are the spark and the stir that makes permanent, powerful change. Please help me be more intentional about spending time with you each day so that I can be changed by your truth and your grace. I want to take care of my body how you ask. I want to see my life through your eyes and change it through your will. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”″>Process</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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  1. Author Image

    Great post! We all struggle. Your prayer is especially inspirational and helpful.

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  2. […] thought last week’s topic was all I would learn from the book of Haggai since the whole book is only two chapters long. But […]

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