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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Architect and Builder

1-2 If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks.
   If 
God doesn't guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.
   It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone.  Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? 
(Psalm 127:1-2)

It is a beautiful morning - rain gently falling outside, temperature a delightful 64 degrees, and coffee brewing in the pot!  When the weather turns like this in Arizona, we celebrate!  The break in the heat is cherished and the gentle rains are definitely a thing we are grateful for.

I am also so very grateful for the Word of God - it is also a gentle rain that faithfully brings refreshment to the dry and weary soul.  It is an instrument of celebration.  That is what the Psalms really are - tools of celebration, songs of praise, and words of worship.  Our writer today encourages us to keep in mind the extreme importance of allowing God to be the "builder" of our homes and "guard" of our cities.  

As builder of our homes, he is both the architect and the framer.  He gives us the structure and the guidance to build strong homes.  I am not speaking of the physical walls, floors, and windows here - but the relationships that exist within the walls of our physical dwellings.  As the architect over our relationships, he is involved in the design of each relationship we encounter.  He has in mind the very "design" of each relationship even before they begin.

Our "homes" extend beyond our walls at times.  We have "extended" families over which God is also the architect.  Those extended families consist of our relationships within our churches, our community, our work environments, etc.  Within these relationships, God opens us to learn from each other, to encourage, to put on display his grace to those who need to know the power of his love.

The writer tells that UNLESS God is the builder of those relationships, they fail - they are nothing more than "shacks" when he envisions them as "mansions" of his glory.  Whenever I am in a relationship that seems a little strained, going nowhere, I almost always find that it is either not God's will for me to be in that relationship, or that I am not bringing God's will into that relationship.

When I am in a relationship that is not God's will, it is usually because I have chosen to be involved out of my own desires - there is a motivation that is rooted in something self-driven, self-directed.  Within that relationship, I am miserable - at odds - and cannot find the peace I so desperately desire.  When I am in a relationship that God clearly has placed me in, there is an evidence of that in the way that individual helps me to grow, challenges me to evaluate my priorities, and stands as an encouragement when I am doing well in my daily walk.

As the architect of our relationships, God has a specific purpose for each relationship he allows to be formed - some are for our encouragement, some for our exhortation, still others for our enjoyment.  Some serve all these purposes.  When we allow God the privilege of directing our relationships - establishing them according to his design - we are surrounded by individuals that create a foundation for our development and we do the same in their lives.

What relationships has God placed you in?  What is your role within those relationships?  Are you there as one who brings exhortation - encouraging the other person toward growth?  Are you there to bring encouragement by the sharing of your knowledge, experience, or wisdom?  Whatever the reason for your placement within that relationship, be faithful to what God has placed you there to accomplish.  You are an instrument in his hands to "build" the house!  Let the architect use you as he envisions - the reward is a strong house, well-founded, and a place of shelter in times of storm.