Striving Versus Abiding
On our way home from a recent trip, I was expressing to Joanne that I felt we needed a building to house our equipment. Later that afternoon, she found a place not far from the house for sale. We rode by the property and looked at it from the fence, it appeared to be the perfect building that would fit all of our needs. The criteria, it must have at least 13 foot high doors and be 40 feet deep for the big motorhome to fit inside. From the fence it looked like it would work.
I contacted the realtor and asked about the property. He said the bank had just dropped the price $19,000. I asked about the door height, he was uncertain. We set up a time to see the property after returning from our next event. Our minds raced with the possibilities of what we could do if we could purchase this place. My fleece was the height of the doors, if it was under 13 feet, then it simply would not work. The minimum clearance for the big motorhome is 12 feet 6 inches.
Off to our next event we went. On and off throughout the weekend, we talked about the building, and all we could do with it. It seemed like God’s perfect plan. Dreaming about the possible future is always fun and exciting!
The appointment time came. As the realtor opened the building for our inspection, I had my trusty measuring tape at the ready to measured the door. My initial impression was it ‘looked’ right. The reality was it measured 12 feet…my heart sank. We could talk about whatever, but I knew we were done. We did take the time to look at the property, snap several pictures and measure the depth of the bays. We thanked the realtor for his time and headed out as another prospective buyer drove in to look at the property.
Our eyes can deceive us in life. We could have easily ‘settled’ for a building that would not meet all of our needs that would hamper future growth, tie up capital and be a source of frustration. That’s what the enemy would have you to do in life, settle for less than the Lord has for you.
Next time a door opens for you to move toward a goal, make sure it’s what the Lord wants. If you don’t, it could have significant negative impact on your future. Remember what Jeremiah said, Jer 7:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Striving Versus Abiding
by Os Hillman
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” – Psalm 127:1a
What does it mean for the Lord to build the house? It almost seems a contradiction when we consider that we might be the builders in this passage. God wants us to allow Him to build the house. He explains further:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for He grants sleep to those He loves” (Psalm 127:1-2).
God is telling us there is a way of working without striving. There is a way to conduct business without sweating and toiling for outcome. His warning to each of us is to avoid thinking that outcome is based on our sweat and toil. Outcome is based on obedience. That outcome is sometimes more than we deserve. Sometimes it is less than we hoped for. His desire for each of us is to see Him working in our daily work life. He wants us to avoid looking to our own effort to gain an outcome.
One day Jesus called out to Peter from the shore of the lake and suggested he throw his net on the other side of the boat. It was this simple act of obedience that yielded a tremendous catch that he would not have received unless he obeyed.
We are called to work; He is called to bring forth the fruit. He is the vine. We are the branches. Fruit comes forth naturally from a healthy tree.
Today, ask God to show you when you enter into striving. Ask Him to show you the difference between loving trust and obedience and striving for outcome. It can be challenging for us to balance this in our daily work experience. He wants to help us walk in this freedom and rest.