Except The Lord Build The House
I also posted this in our Newsletter section, but it is speaking to my heart so strongly, I felt I needed to share it here on the blog.
Just a few days ago I was awakened with the Scripture dropping in my heart from Psalms 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the watchman keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
February is a very special month for me. On February 29, 1980, Pam and I began this journey together called married life. In February 1978 I preached my first sermon in a small church in Soddy Daisy Tennessee. Lasted three minutes. Swore to God in heaven I would never preach again as long as I lived. Today, I’m grateful God didn’t let me keep that commitment.
In February 1983, I moved my young family to East Alabama where we have called home to this day. God used this Scripture to confirm the move and He used this Scripture to seal once again His calling for our lives to Gospel ministry.
As I was awaken with the reality of this thirty-year anniversary and with this Scripture speaking in my heart, God seemed to renew the impact of what Solomon is saying in this passage.
Unless the Lord builds the house. When God authorizes something, when He mandates a plan for your life, He then becomes directly involved with the success of it. Without God, all our work becomes nothing but vanity.
No one enters ministry, a marriage or a career with the desire to fail. I entered ministry to please God and to obey His calling upon my life and to be the very best minister I could possibly be. I did not marry my wife with the thought, I am going to marry her then leave her in two weeks. I married her with the intent to have the strongest and happiest marriage anyone in my family has ever had. I have never seen anyone become a professional athlete with the intention of becoming the worst in his or her field. Professional athletes turn pro with the sole purpose of being the best in their profession, winning a championship and making it to the hall of fame.
Many times along the way I have been tempted to take short cuts in ministry. Embellish some numbers. Manipulate people to respond to an altar call. Trying to build the ministry in my strength, with my abilities and talents. Every time I
have attempted that it has exploded in failure…as well as a rebuke from Pam or the Holy Spirit.
My point is simply this: God wants to build your house! He wants to build your ministry. God wants to strengthen your marriage and bless your career in a way that people will know, it was not your abilities that brought blessing and success, but God’s hand of favor and blessing on your life.
Anything built with God’s direction, in God’s timing, in God’s way will have God’s blessing. While the work you are doing may not be as big as someone else’s work, ask yourself: are we building something to gain the recognition of men, or God?
David says Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…
I have found in my life that when I am becoming frustrated in my labor for the Lord, that is a sign that I am operating in the flesh. But when I step back, take a moment to pray and ask for God’s direction, things flow much easier.
Many have made success a dirty word. The desire to succeed has been put in your heart by the Lord. It’s not a sin to want to be the best businessman, the best wife, the best husband, and yes: it’s not a sin to desire to be the best preacher of the Gospel that has ever lived! But only doing it God’s way with His blessing and direction will bring the true success and fulfillment you are looking for.
So often, good things become the enemy of the best things God wants us to have. As we began 2013, I have laid everything we are doing out before the Lord. There are some places we have been to in the last twelve years I know we will never go back to. There are some types of ministry we have been doing God is asking us to eliminate. I need God’s blessing on my life. I want God’s blessing on our ministry. But if God will never bless what He has not directed; nor can He protect or build what He has not authorized; it urges me to stop asking God to bless what I am doing. Find what HE is blessing and do that. Then our labor will not be in vain.
Are you doing the labor God has authorized for your life? We are now in a season in which God is asking all of us to stop our involvement in ministries, activities, functions and plans that have completed their assignment in our lives. Everything is for a season. Everything is for a reason. Everything is beautiful in it’s time. But when that time is over, it can become frustrating…and ugly.
What is God asking you to release and let go of? What good thing are you currently doing that has become an obstacle to God’s best for your life? Someone reading this newsletter has been in a season of great frustration. Maybe you need to ask yourself this question: am I trying to build something God has not authorized me to build?
Your answer to that could be the release into your next season of fulfillment…or another season of frustration.
I’ll take blessing, favor and fulfillment.
David & Pam