Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 15, 2015

Dependence on God

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What is your favorite book? What is mine you ask? Well it is How to get Better Grades and Have More fun.  It can be purchased on Amazon for a penny and I recommend you get a copy. If you don’t want to spend one penny (plus shipping and handling) then at least read the free look inside part here: See Better Grades book

In this book Steve Douglas makes reference to a sociology study conducted on students regarding study habits and grades. They divided the students in two groups. One group studied two hours per day or  less.  The second group studied four hours per day or more. The study found that those who study two hours per day or less earned higher grades in University than those that studied four hours per day or more. I told you I liked this book!

There were a lot of factors in how the first group made higher grades. They included how the students listen in class and how the students could discern what was important come test time. The finding is that working harder doesn’t always mean better results. The no pain no gain mantra does not always hold true.

Now let’s add to that “horse sense” a spiritual principal found in Psalm 127. Any work we do without dependence on God is doomed to fail. If you leave God out you will accomplish nothing. That is what we find when we dig out the meaning of Psalm 127. You can’t start a new venture or maintain an old venture unless the Lord blesses. If you leave God out you will accomplish nothing. Psalm 127 tells us how vain human effort really is. That is the meaning that wise old Solomon is getting at in Psalm 127.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of  painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

There are contrasting ways to go about any task. There is striving, pushing and fighting verses a dependence on God. There is a human effort that leaves God out verses a quiet trust in Almighty God as provider. And which way you approach your tasks will be the difference of frustration or blessing.

If you are not careful you could see Psalm 127 as two disjointed thoughts. In verses 1-2 there is talk about trusting God and in verses 3-5 the verses talk about having children. But there is one theme that runs through the whole Psalm and that is dependence on God.

The same theme with different examples. There is one who builds a house. There is one who watches a city and one who builds a family. In all the examples there is a need to trust God.

It is futile to build a house without God. You can read in the title that this Psalm is a Psalm of Solomon. This may refer to the temple that was built and dedicated during Solomon’s reign. The principle applies generally to all builders. Any work is vein unless God is in it. All labor will fail without the blessing of God.

The only endeavor worth working for is that which is aligned with the will of God. Anything else is a wasted effort. Hard work won’t cut it. If God is not in it all the latest technology tools, political connections, financial resources, manpower all come to nothing.

The example is those who built the tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-8). At Babel they had all the resources but God was not in it. Contrast the tower of Babel to rebuilding a temple in the book of Ezra. In Ezra unlikely people with no resources built a house to completion.

The great building that are erected without God will crumble and serve no purpose. Unless the Lord is in it then it is vain. The blessing rests with those who labor in dependence on God. It is vain to labor without God. It is vain to watch the city without God. It is vain to rise up early without laboring in the Lord. Three times the word vain rings out.

The city is not going to be safe no matter how many watchman are posted unless the Lord does the watching. All of these activities must have the sanctions of God. When the Lord watches He will not sleep or slumber (Psalm 124: 4). A man can both labor and watch, but without the Lord he has done nothing.

It is not a matter of working harder. It is a matter of seeking the Lord more. You can toil and work and get up early and go to bed late. God is blessing those who are His beloved in their sleep. Wow! Here is the guy working hard without God getting nowhere.  Then there is the guy trusting in the Lord sleeping and while sound asleep resting in the Lord he is prospering.

Of course this is not an invitation to become a lazy sluggard. But doing things God’s way will get more done while they sleep that one without God struggling striving and “eating the bread of anxious toil.” Jesus was able to sleep while the storm raged and the disciples worked frantically in vain to do something.

God sends children as a blessing. Children should be seen as a gift and heritage of the Lord. We should never take our family for granted, but trust in God in total dependence for Him to build a healthy family. The builder of the home needs dependence on God.

Children are to their father what sharp arrows are to the warrior. They protect him when he is old. God has given a blessing of riches in children. God has been promising a blessing to those that trust Him and children are a part of that blessing.

Children are living treasures and to have many children is better than financial wealth. Pray regularly that all children walk with Him and serve Him faithfully. That is a spiritual legacy. There are many wealthy people that would give their riches to have loving children. There is a blessing in having a full quiver.

Children are a gift of God. You must depend on God to build your home just as you would need to depend on him to build a house or watch a city. Unless we depend on God what we do is vain.

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