You and God in Partnership
In Psalm 127:1-5, God tells us about the blessed life. It is one built solidly with God by your side. It intertwines your planning and daily tasks with a dependence upon the Lord. And it also looks at the blessing of children and how they are a gift from the Lord. As with everything in life, you have to put in the effort. When you depend upon God and move at His impulse, you'll break through to the blessed life.
Let's look at it:
1Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
What is it saying?
The destruction of your house, city, and children are only a few missteps or evil deeds away. You are given the ability to build, acquire, and develop these blessings, but the opportunity and reality are dependent upon the Lord, often in ways you do not see. This is an exhortation to not be proud and believe that you have done all of it yourself; you have not. It would be a mistake to claim credit for life's blessings and successes. This does not mean that you should just wait for God to do things for you. He doesn't work that way. He gives you opportunities. He gives you raw materials. He makes the timing right. But you must build. You must assemble. You must organize. And you must also listen for His wisdom and His direction as you seize upon your opportunities.
There is something precious about having children, who you sacrifice for and love on, and set their aim toward the future. Our current culture is missing the value of children, instead focusing on the problems of children and the pleasure of doing exactly what you want all the time. But there is a richness to children that no business, pleasure, or achievement can replace. God has given us a window of opportunity in life to have children, and we must sacrifice a lot to bear and raise them, but it is so worth it.
Remember that life is relationships -- not money or power. If you have money and power but have little or no solid relationships, then your life is shallow. All of us want the same things, but we must have it within God's boundaries and within the context of the many relationships to really enjoy this life. Too many people today have found one pleasure that they like and want to build their whole life around an unlimited amount of that pleasure. This isn't the way to the blessed life.
The blessed life factors in the Lord to your plans and daily life. It requires a developing dependence upon the Lord for all things. I have been amazed at times how God wants to redirect my daily efforts in ways and through people I would not have thought of. How do we display our dependence upon the Lord in our houses, our cities, or our work? Take the time to spend time with Him every day and every week, personally and with others.
Set aside 1 hour a day to spend with God, going through daily readings, like Breakfast with Solomon on the Proverbs, or other spiritual exercises, like those in my books Spiritual Disciplines of a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N. or Foundations: Building a Solid Christian Life.
Devote 2 hours a week to meet with other believers to worship God corporately -- for most people this is weekend worship, but for a growing number of others it is a vibrant small group. All of these spiritual activities are helpful in keeping us from believing that it is our efforts alone that make our life work.
Memorize all or part of this Psalm and repeat it over and over as you go to bed at night. Let it seep into your soul as you go to sleep. See how God will direct you, strengthen you, and comfort you through this Psalm.
Remember -- it is you and God in a partnership building an abundant, blessed life -- your life, discovering the good works that you were supposed to do, and exploring the relationships that only you can have.
My hope is that you'll delve into this new dependency with God as He moves you forward in faith toward the blessed life. I look forward to interacting with you during your spiritual journey. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Your greatest life is just ahead in 2017!
In His service,
Foundations: Building a Solid Christian Life by Gil Stieglitz
The Christian life is not an easy road. In today's culture, it seems like a thousand voices tell us what to think, what to believe, who to follow, and what to do. As a pastor and counselor, Dr. Gil Stieglitz has had the privilege of talking with all kinds of people, who are either being drawn toward faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or have stepped out in faith but have many questions. Foundations: Building a Solid Christian Life answers many of the most basic questions about living in dynamic connection with God. It delves into four foundational blocks for what it means to live the Christian life and how to interact with God through Jesus Christ. Visit Amazon.com to get your copy today.