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 (NIV)
Labor In Vain
I don’t want to do that. You don’t want to do what? I don’t want to labor in vain. That is a good caution. That is a valid concern. What might cause you to labor in vain? That is a good question that I haven’t given much thought. Now is the time to give it some thought. Yes, it is. I could ask you some questions that will help guide your thinking. That would be helpful. I would really appreciate that. That’s good. What might be some signs that you are laboring in vain? If I am running myself ragged trying to accomplish your purpose and fulfill your plans that might be a sign that I am laboring in vain. Why is that? Running myself ragged and making myself weary may be a good indication that I am trying to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans with my own power and strength. That will never work. Why is that? You have clearly stated that apart from you I can do nothing. Doing nothing sounds a lot like laboring in vain. Yes, it is. That must make you aware of another sign that you may be laboring in vain. Yes, it does. If my labor is not bearing fruit for your Kingdom and bringing glory to your name, then surely my labor must be in vain. That is a possibility. Why is it only a possibility? Why is it not a certainty? There is a time of sowing. Then there is a time of waiting. Then there is a time of reaping. If you are in the time of waiting, the fruit will be yet to come. Don’t be impatient. Just like a farmer who has planted seed must wait for a crop so you also must wait for fruit to develop. I get it.
What can you do to make you certain that you will not be laboring in vain? I can rely on you. I can follow you to where you lead me to do what you ask of me. I can allow you to work in and through me to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. If you are working in and through me, I will surely bear fruit for you and bring glory to your name. Yes, you will, without a doubt. What will your life look like as you are allowing me to work in and through you? I’m not sure what you mean. Will you be running yourself ragged and making yourself weary? No, certainly not. You will bring balance to my life. You will give me peace and rest and sleep. You will revive and refresh and renew my life so that I will be able to give my very best effort to you. Yes, I will and yes you will. Rely on me and you will never labor in vain. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have made the mistake of trying to accomplish your purposes with my own strength. I know this is not pleasing to you. Instead, I will allow you to work in and through me. Revive, refresh, and renew my life so I can give my very best effort to you. Amen
Key Question… When have you worked yourself ragged trying to accomplish God’s purposes with your own strength?
Living It Out… Allow the Lord to work in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord will work in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how the Lord is working in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
Prayer To Bless Others… Allow the Lord to work in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
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