The opening lines of this Psalm pierced me. I was attending a board meeting of a Christian ministry. It was the third day and the underlying question of everything we had done so far was, “What does the Lord want us to do about this issue?” This is the context in which I opened and read these words.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves (1-2).
Naturally these words hit me regarding the work of the board for the last 2 days. But consciously I re-sculpted these words to speak into my life. What must I do to ensure that the Lord is building my life?
I sat with this question….
While a building is an inanimate object, as such it just sits there. I am a living breathing human being… so what must I do to be sculpted by God?
I need to sit with Him. Like a model for an artist, I have to sit with the Lord. I have to allow Him to peer into me with His gaze and then accept whatever work He says needs to be done.
Just last week I went to the dentist… I have to show up and open up and let him work. First the dentist examines my teeth, cleans them so he gets a good look. Then he probes more deeply in problem areas –he knows my history- and potential problem areas. Experience and wisdom tells him where to look for ‘hidden’ cavities. At some point he will ask me if I have noticed anything unusual pain, sensitivity, etc. If ‘yes’. he will probe again those areas. Lastly he gives me my ‘diagnosis’. Sometime this includes the need for cavities to be filled or more extensive work. Most times, thankfully, I get to hear, “all is good.” Sometimes he may add, “Keep up the good work”. Other times he adds tips for better oral hygiene; floss more, clean your gums better, and the like.
I need to adopt a similar pattern with the Lord... to sit with Him so that He can do the same kind of examination and repair as necessary,,, my heart, mind, soul and will…
For me the most important and regular aspect in God’s examination is to hold His Word up, to allow it to peer into me and correct, rebuke or encourage. Regular times in God’s Word is an essential for me. Then there is meditation and prayer growing from the Word. Meditation for me is NOT emptying myself of self, but rather filling myself with God through His Word… pondering, chewing, digesting and feeding on His Word, which is truth.
There are also times with other brothers… where we ‘do life’, allowing God to speak though this brother. Weekly worship, regular tithing and giving, prayer with others and service in the name of Jesus.
For me these are my mainstays… for being receptive to the Lord so that HE CAN BUILD MY HOUSE…
Thank You, Lord, for building these features into my life. I want so much to be Yours and to be the kind of man You want me to be… I offer You my life… use me as You will, create me to be what You will and create a clean heart in me that I might not sin against You. I pray in Jesus’ name Amen.