Starting at the right place

Read Psalm 127:1-2

1 Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones (NLT)

We can so easily get frantically involved in activity for God without first discerning whether the activity is something he wants us to do. We can confuse our own bright ideas with God’s ideas, our cleverness with God’s wisdom, our hard work with God’s power.

Churches can waste much time and money and energy on doing things that are not birthed in God. They go along with someone’s seemingly good idea without checking whether it is also God’s good idea. They conform to what they see other churches doing figuring that what works in one place will work in another. And that what works must be from God.

The Psalmist reminds us that unless God is deeply at work in what we are doing, we will end up anxiety-ridden and weary. We may meet certain humanly-engineered objectives, but we will not necessarily further the plans and purposes of our God.

God does want us to be up and about but not before seeking his heart and mind and will. We are not to pray that he will bless what we have already planned to do but rather pray that we will get in on what he has planned for us to do. This may involve patient waiting and even some uncertainty. It may mean doing things differently. But we must start at the right point if ever we are to reach the right end.

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