Last Sunday one of our pastors preached from Psalm 127, focusing in particular on the opening verses:
Unless the LORD builds the house,its builders labor in vain.Unless the LORD watches over the city,the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.Regarding the Festival of the Shelters, at the end of harvest season, the Israelites were to worship the LORD for seven days, “for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you success in all your work” (Deuteronomy 16:15 NLT). It is He who gives success in all our work. If we forget this, we labor in vain; if we seek to do it on our own, we labor in vain. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.In Isaiah 30, verse 18 (NLT), it says, “So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help” (emphasis mine).Blessed are those who wait on Him for His help … blessed are those who let the LORD build the house.Blessed are those who……let Him be the foundation…let Him build it up…let Him do the work, the true work, the deep, meaningful, lasting work.If I try to do it myself or in my name, I toil in vain.Paul understood this principle. The pastor pointed us to 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NLT):
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. (emphasis mine)
Unless the LORD builds the house, we could begin to think, like the tower-builders of Babel, that we’re accomplishing great things by ourselves and for ourselves; in our own strength and in our own name (Genesis 11:4).Unless the LORD does it—whatever it is—we’re toiling away at it in vain.Unless the LORD builds the house… Unless the LORD raises the kids … produces the tomatoes … generates freelance income … recycles the cans … grows the ministry … shares the gospel … scores the goal … writes the blog …Unless I’m yielding to the LORD, all my efforts, all my phone calls, all my ideas, all my words—written or spoken—are in vain.I don’t know exactly what this looks like moment by moment, but I understand that until I see that He is the one who gives success—until I recognize, honor and worship Him for all He does do, can do and will do—I’m toiling in vain.I long for all that I am, do, speak, write, or think … to flow from Him as His work in this world … His kingdom come.May it be so. Today.Right now.Amen.“Entertainment District construction at night” photo by Paul Gorbould, available through a Creative Commons license via Flickr.