If You Build It…

… it will probably fail.

So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.
(Nehemiah 6:15, 16 NLT)

On Sunday night (our last Sunday as pastors at Grace Assembly of God) Pastor Ben Peters gave a great word about building walls.

As the Church, it is our job to obediently work toward fulfilling the vision that God gives each of us; and usually that vision is specific and unique to each local church or person. We see many leaders having a very specific vision that God has given them, and that vision is fleshed out through their local church or ministry.

When these visions are given from God, there is one thing that they will all have in common: God will receive the glory.

If it is His will, it is His bill. God provides everything we need to fulfill His purposes for our lives. Our job is simple—obey. It is when we start to make our own plans, and attempt to strategize with our own understanding and vision and models and strategies, that we fall short every time. Yes, people may look at it and say, “Wow! That’s really successful!” (or maybe not if it completely fell apart); but either way, unless we have completed the task set before us by God, then we have not succeeded in that which matters most.

The people built the walls of the city of God, not for their own glory, but so that God would be glorified. That, at the success of His people, the world would fear God. When we take the credit, or change the plans, or attempt to make some corrections for God (because we think we know better), that’s when the glory no longer goes to God; and that is when the work that was done has now been done in vain; and when we thought we were building walls for people to see God, we end up only building barriers that keep people from Him.

This can come in the form of church programs, the structure/control of our services, social programs, “outreaches” (I put that in quotes, because we usually mean come-and-see-us-and-be-impressed… maybe-you’ll-stay-and-pay-tithes), etc. Don’t get me wrong! A lot of what we do is good, I think… But how much of what we do is really what God intended us to be doing as the Church?

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.
(Psalm 127:1a NLT)

I certainly am not claiming to have all the answers. These are simply thoughts from an ongoing dialogue about what we are doing as the Church.

What do you think? Please, feel free to leave some feedback. 🙂

Seeking His plans…



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