“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.” – Psalm 127:1 NLT
The Bible describes the fool as someone who says, “There is no God!” (Psalm 14:1). They live their lives as if God does not exist, sinning willfully and regularly, expecting no punishment or consequences. But the fool is not necessarily an unbeliever. We have seen how many times the people of God lived their lives as if God did not exist or that He was unable to see what they were doing. They treated Him unfaithfully and never expected anything to happen to them. Then there are the countless times they acted on their own – not in sin – but in living their lives without asking for or relying on God’s help. That is probably the greater offense to a loving God. When we attempt to do anything, great or small, without God, we are living the life of the fool. We are assuming that we can live our lives without Him and accomplish great things without His help. But the Psalmist reminds us that nothing could be farther from the truth. As God’s people, all that we do is to be done in reliance upon the Lord. We can accomplish nothing of significance apart from Him. If we build a house without Him, we do so in vain. We may get it constructed, but if He is not part of the process and central to our lives, what good will that house be without Him. Without His power and presence that house is nothing more than a shell. Ultimately, it can’t provide real shelter and protection. It can’t keep us alive. It can’t bring us joy. It can’t provide us with peace. Only God can do those things.
Think about how much we do without God. Consider how little we rely on Him when it comes to our daily lives. We work hard. We expend a lot of energy. We go to bed tired and wake up the same way, lacking rest and facing another day of more of the same. The Psalmist describes this kind of life as futile. “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” (Psalm 127:2 NLT). Our lives were not meant to be lived apart from God, in our own strength. They were created by God for complete dependency upon Him for strength, sustenance, direction, protection, comfort, and rest. Nehemiah knew that rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem without God would have been useless. That’s why he prayed like he did. He knew that posting guards on the walls to protect the workers was pointless if God was not a part of the plan. Ultimately, he recognized that God was essential to all that they did. God had to be the central focus of their efforts. When will we learn the same timeless truth? Unless God…builds our homes, our marriages, our businesses, our communities, our churches, our lives … everything we do is in vain. We may appear successful and satisfied, but we will be missing the only thing we really need … Him.
Father, we need You. We don’t always realize it or live like it, but we do. All the things we try to accomplish apart from You are useless and meaningless in the long run. Give us a perspective that recognizes our utter dependence upon You for everything we do. Don’t let us become fools, living our lives as if there is no God. Keep us in a constant state of need for You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men