Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 127. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:1-2 ESV)
Many of the scholars agree that Psalm 127 was most likely written by David about and for his son, Solomon, as Solomon was tasked to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. When read in this light, it is a reminder for us to live towards what God has called us to do.
David had a desperate desire to build the temple himself. He wanted a legacy left for Israel that would make his life matter in spiritual terms. But God denied him that privilege and rather promised David that his offspring would be the one who would get to do it. David knew that there was no way to overrule or change that, and so he speaks from first-hand knowledge when he warns Solomon that no amount of toiling or laboring will amount to anything if it isn’t done according to the will and purposes of God.
How many of us live in a Psalm 127:2 reality though? Up early, in bed late, working hard to buy stuff, and then buying stuff because we have worked hard, but struggling to sleep because we know that the Lord isn’t in the center of what we are building? We know from the rest of Scripture that God isn’t opposed to us working hard, but we see clearly here that if it isn’t done with God at the center, then it is done in vain.
When was the last time you actually asked God what He wanted from your life? When was the last time you actually relinquished control to Him in terms of what you are building?
Take some time now to again set God’s purposes above your own. Please friend, don’t waste your life.
Father God, unless You build it, it will collapse and I know that. Forgive me for building furiously anyway. Show me the things that I am building in vain and teach me to wait for You and to listen to You so that I build what You want.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)