Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch 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*
We need God in it—in each day, in each part of it—at a foundational level. Or there’s no point in what we’re doing.
I know that, but somehow this psalm reminded me in a fresh way. Then Jan Cox’s post, “First,” from A Better Way, showed up in my inbox.
Jan challenged me to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) and she quoted the previous day’s entry for My Utmost for His Highest, which I’d only half processed. Oswald Chambers had written:
So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. [My Utmost for His Highest, May 18]
Concentration on God. Seeking Him first in the day and in each endeavour.
A comment at the end of the “First” post led me to the Pursuing Heart blog, where Cherry had posted “The Source of Beauty.” She also referred to that same Oswald Chambers quote, and she said:
How often do we put our focus in the wrong place? …Forgetting that all that is needed is to let our roots go down deep, and our hearts to reach up to Him… I am called back to this simplicity over and over again.
All our running around, self-directed and self-powered because we’ve forgotten to let God be God, in first place in our lives. We’ve complicated it. And added stress.
Father God, our Creator and Sustainer, forgive us for the times we run ahead of You. Quiet our spirits to seek You first. Remind us we’re never too busy not to pray. Root us deep in Your love. Show us where You’re working, and how we can best work with You.
Here’s a new-to-me but classic hymn, sung by the Antrim Mennonite Choir: “Day by Day.”
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.