Vain Efforts

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, January 10, 2017

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. 2  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.

Sometimes I feel like blood – everything I do is done in vein.

I know, it’s stupid humor. But it gets me right to the point. We often feel like our best efforts are going unnoticed and unrewarded. Our best work sometimes ends in failure. Our well-thought-out plans get interrupted and sidetracked. We fail to reach our desired goals. We wonder why it seems that whatever we do turns out wrong. We begin to doubt our abilities. We are tempted to give up and not even try any more. Everything seems vain.

Three times at the beginning of Psalm 127, Solomon uses the word vain to describe man’s efforts apart from God. Lightbulb moment. Anything and everything done apart from God is vain. Whatever we do to build a life for ourselves will ultimately tumble. Whatever we do to protect our own lives will ultimately crumble. Whatever we do to provide financially for ourselves we will ultimately fumble. Everything we do apart from God’s will for our lives is vain.

However, the converse of that truth must also be true – everything we do under the direction of the Lord will succeed. We can build lives that will be meaningful and fulfilling. We can live in security. We can enjoy the peace of provisions and rest. The one and only criteria for doing so is to live as the servant of the Master and not as the master.

When the life you are building is the life God designed and you are building it according to His plans, then you will be rewarded. When the guard you post around your life is the shield of faith in Jesus Christ, then you will be protected. When the labor you do is done for the glory of God, He will provide for your every need and you will sleep well.

Whether or not our lives are lived in vain depends solely on our choice of masters. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 the Apostle Paul says, Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

Has the passion for wealth become your master? Has fear become your master? Has professional status become your master? Have friends and family become your master? Have you decided to be the master of your own destiny? Has anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ become master of your life?

Be careful. Whatever you think you are accomplishing now will be proven vain. Be steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. Your labor is not in vain when done in the Lord! (1 Cor. 15:58)

Pastor John

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