Are You Building In Vain?


What are you spending your time and energy trying to build?

Is it a certain lifestyle?

Is it a certain legacy?

Maybe your just trying to build confidence after many failures?

Whatever it is you are trying to build is built in vain, if you do it in your own strength.

Are You Building In Vain?

Psalm 127:1–2 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.

I want to look at two ways that we can apply this verse to our lives:

  1. God controls and sustains everything

    • You might look around and say, well it seems like people are being successful at building structures and organizations. Yes, people can do these things, but it’s only because has allowed it. We the creation want to pridefully ignore the creator and take full credit for what happens on earth, but the reality is that nothing happens apart from God. (John 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:10-14)
  2. Everything is vain when we don’t give God the glory

    • It’s vain because when we don’t attribute glory and honor to God in whatever we do, we attribute it to ourselves. And that is a vain pursuit. Any glory or honor attributed to us will eventually end up in the dirt. The writer of Ecclesiastes says it this way, ” Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Only what we attribute to God will last forever.

The way not to build in vain

At this point, it might be easy to say, well if God is in control then I’ll just sit back and relax. But I don’t think that is at all the intent of scripture. I think Paul give us a perfect example of how to apply this and not to build in vain.

  1. We acknowledge that it’s only in His strength that we can do things

    • Philippians 4:13  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
  2. We acknowledge that the only reason we can live this way is because of Christ in us

    • – Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.
  3. We acknowledge that not even what we say is effective without Him

    • – 1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
  4. We acknowledge all of this and give all the glory and honor to Him

    • – Ephesians 3:20-2120 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Whatever you have been building in vain, pray these verses over that. And watch how God transforms that area of your life and makes your efforts bear eternal fruit.


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