My wife and I love home improvement projects. Ever since we bought our first house, we enjoy making it our own by remodeling. Taking something that is outdated and making it fresh gives you not only a sense of accomplishment but also a sense of ownership. Not every project has been a success. Some have gone over budget and others had lingering issues. What we have learned is wisdom that stands the test of time.
“Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.”
The Psalm feels like it would be more comfortable amongst the wisdom of Proverbs. The understanding that can be drawn from this verse is so applicable, and it has very little to do with construction. It does, however, address our overzealous ambition. If Christ isn’t in what we are doing it isn’t going to stand. It doesn’t matter how much determination or hard work we put it will fail in the end. This is wisdom that will stand the test of time.
We need to take steps to make sure that what we are doing isn’t in vain. This takes some preparation on our part. Before we jump into a project, it is crucial that we take it to prayer, measure it against scripture, and seek Godly counsel. If we dive in and ask questions later, we are setting ourselves up for a lot of wasted effort. Jesus shared that when a builder considers a project he sits down and figures out the cost first. (Luke 14:28) If it is too costly, he doesn’t do it.
Time to Let it Go
Wisdom that stands the test of time also applies to holding on to something too long. The last half of this verse says “unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.” There are times when we need to move on from something we are wasting time, effort, and money trying to maintain. We try to protect it, but in the end, everything we attempted didn’t matter.
Seeking the Lord before we start something new is vital to its success. Seeking Him for wisdom if we should continue in a project is just as essential. The fact of the matter is that if the Lord isn’t in it, it won’t stand the test of time.