There are two main distractions in people’s lives: gaining more and protecting what we have. The ‘desire for gain’ and ‘fear of loss’ are seen as the two main drivers of human activity, especially in such things as trading and doing business.
God speaks to these two impulses in Psalms.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders work in vain. Unless the Lord protects the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Psalm 127:1
Notice there the dual ideas of building a house, as in making progress, becoming better off, and the other idea of protecting a city, as in being safe.
Most people without a home of their own aspire to buy a home. Those with an unreliable vehicle aspire to get a better one. Those without a job seek one. Most of us spend most of our lives attempting to make some progress or other, with growth, skills development, getting an education, getting a job, building a career, making money, buying things to enhance our life, starting a family, providing well for the family, getting a bigger house, better car, nicer things, and so on.
Most of us also become quite uncomfortable when the things we have appear to be threatened or put at risk. Some people spend a lot on security devices and jealously guard and protect what they have. Many people avoid risks, preferring to protect what they have than risk it to get more gain.
The tension between our desire for gain and our fear of losing what we have is an interesting one and the balance tends to change with our mood and our experience.
While people might risk smaller amounts of their money they don’t like to lose the more basic elements of life. When law and order break down, or when electricity, water or internet services break down, people become quite uncomfortable.
Imagine, then, what it would be like to have your whole culture, you city, at risk of invasion and the complete loss of all you know.
In both those competing aspirations, to gain and to protect, God declares His interest. God declares that our true source of blessing and our true security is not in what we can do, but in God’s blessing in our lives.
If you are going to build a house, you need to know that God is building it with you.
What does that mean? If you are seeking God and walking with Him, being led by the Holy Spirit, then you can find God’s direction, peace and provision for the things He wants you to do. You can move into a project knowing God is with you in that enterprise.
You and God are then building together.
I have heard some lovely testimonies over the years of people who felt confident God had led them into some project or other. They regarded God as one of the business partners in their enterprise and were careful to seek God in all the important decisions. I recall one chap telling me that he had left some aspects of the business to his brother while the chap went overseas. On return his brother had made some unwise decisions and the chap rebuked his brother and they both got on their knees and apologised to God.
That example shows their level of commitment that they were not building something of their own, but God was building and they were building with Him, and had to regard God’s presence in the process at every step along the way.
Of course, as a disclaimer, there are many people with religious delusions who will tell you their crazy adventure is a ‘mission from God’. Just because someone spouts religious sounding zeal doesn’t mean God is building anything at all or that they are doing anything God approves of.
The key for us ordinary folk is that we need to move with God, build with God, rely on God, look to God, humbly wait on God and let God be the one placing blessing in our lives.
We want God to be building our house.
Oh, and by the way, ‘house’ means more than a physical building. In the Bible it relates to a dynasty, of generational blessings down your family line. God wants to build your house both as a material structure and as a generational heritage enjoyed by your children’s children’s children.
Do you want to build anything at all? Are there things you want to add to your life? Then connect with God and ensure that He is building and working with you. Otherwise you will work, scrape and save and have nothing to show for it. Your life’s efforts will be in vain.
Build your life and your future with God – going His way, doing His will, following His wisdom. And what you build will stand the test of time.