In Genesis 11, is recorded the story of man not too long in Biblical history after creation, banding together against God, to build a tower that would signify the abolishment of God’s rule over man. Wanting nothing to do any longer with the God who had created him, man plots to overthrow the shackles of God and carve out a path for Himself. God comes down from heaven and confuses man’s language and scatters him across the face of the earth and the tower of Babel rather than being a monument to the overthrown God, becomes a relic testifying to the futility of man’s pride and effort.

Centuries later, Solomon the wise king who was charged with and completed the task of building God’s temple writes in Psalms 127:1,2-

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.

We are encouraged to build and to protect what has been built; yet the futility of building and protecting in the absence of God’s consent is elaborated. ‘In vain’ is the effort to build, to protect and to be satisfied when God is marked ‘absent’ from our efforts. On the contrary, a person who gets God to bless his effort will have truly lasting productivity and satisfaction. There are three things that can ensure that God blesses one’s effort.

First, seek the will of God in all you do. There is something called the will of God in all things. He will tolerate man refusing to submit to His will, and that has been the story of God, dealing with a world that is constantly drifting away toward sin. But when man takes care to find the will of God and stick to it, no matter what the price might be, the reward is unimaginably huge.

Second, trust God in all your effort. Living by sight and living by faith are two different things. It is natural to live by sight and there is hardly any credit in doing so. Living by faith, goes beyond the seen realm and puts one’s trust in the unseen God. Those who live by faith have made miraculous productivity a rule in their lives.

Lastly, give glory to God. Man’s pride refuses to acknowledge God as the author of all he has and done. We owe our very breath to Him. Yet, when man in all humility submits to God’s will, trusts him and gives Him the glory that is truly due Him, life falls into the place that was always intended- one revolving around the centerpiece of God.

Beauty, productivity and harmony exude from such a life. And unless the Lord builds, that will be truly missed.



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