Psalm 127 // A reflection…

.V 1-2Unless the Lord builds the house,         those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city,        the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early       and go late to rest,  easting the bread of anxious toil;       for he gives sleep to his beloved.

I have been reading this psalm all week and it seems extremely fitting for my life! Last month everything changed for me and the ministry God has called me to do. At least it feels like everything has changed. It’s tempting to just push through and try and build life and ministry on my strength and on my own efforts. But with a psalm like this God reminds me that my striving and pushing through are all in vain if He is not really the one doing the building and opening up the doors.

But there is a tension here isn’t there? How much do we sit back and let God construct our “house” and orchestrate the song that is our life and ministry? And how much to we strive, using the abilities and energies that God has given us? I heard a story of lead pastor who puts in 60 hours work week at the church and also puts in 20 - 40 hours (in the same week) into the business he owns and runes. The church he planted has blown up, they have three campuses now and are one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America according to Outreach Magazine. It looks like God is using this mans efforts, his striving. I happen to know someone on his staff who told me this but he said it in on a positive note following it with, “and he still has a great relationship with his family, ect. ect.”

How does one know when our “toiling” in vain or is in line with the proper effort that God and his work deserves.

Just thinking about that today.

Shalom Erik