Time For God: Day 19

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

The English, so we are told, love a construction known as the architectural “folly.” An example of a folly is Rushton Lodge in Northamptonshire. It dates back to 1595.

The English built follies purely for amusement. Though freshly built, they were designed to look like ruins from an earlier era. They quickly became part the English landscape. Sir Thomas Tresham created Rushton Lodge. It embodied his interest in the sec ret symbolism of numbers. He focused on the passion of Christ and the Trinity. His design highlights the number three. Rushton Lodge has three walls, three smoke holes in the chimneys, and three trefoil windows on each of the three floors. Symbolic it may be; functional it is not. That’s why it’s called a folly.

Follies bring strong style to weak substance. A folly perfectly illustrates today’s Focus verse: Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it. A folly serves no practical purpose except to flatter the designer’s fancy. Neither can your folly yield spiritual fruit. Only Jesus redeems your folly; the cost is Calvary’s cross.

A wise leader once said, “I have led a mission organization for many years. I believe every success comes from God alone. Yet, I notice that whenever we place a capable, dedicated, and energetic worker into a leadership position God rewards us with more fruit. God adds His anointed supply to our diligence and care.

He restates the essence of our verse: “unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Your efforts alone produce much labour and little fruit. As the Lord builds and guards, your watchful labour is multiplied. God’s grace brings abundant blessing. Which comes first—your labour or God’s blessing? Unless the Lord builds …unless the Lord guards …without God all is wasted effort. God saves you from the barrenness of busyness; He multiplies your loaves and fishes. He provides.

How do ambition, planning, and anxious activity deflect you from focusing on God’s pace and purpose for your life? How can you more intentionally work and walk to the rhythms of grace? Who will you invite to walk in faithful pilgrimage, today?

Father, you are the Initiator, Provider, and Enabler of all that is good in my life. When I lay down my small ambitions you engage me in your greater purposes for my life and your Creation. Thank you Lord. May it be so, today. Amen.

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