Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Seeking God in all things, and obeying his voice, is key to all sorts of blessings in one’s life. Some say that we shouldn’t seek God for his blessings, but why in the world would you ever want to serve a God that didn’t bless you? He is a good father who gives good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11).
His greatest gift is his very presence: His peace in my heart during trials; His peace when anxiety tries to linger; His joy inside strengthening me during every storm. These are the greatest gifts I have received.
I recently drove a jeep through Wyoming, while looking at hundreds of kilometers of untouched landscape. In those moments of solitude with my God, I felt his joy strong inside of me. It was like I was on an adventure with just him and me. I knew he was pleased with me, because I was filled with his presence in a very powerful way. Moments like these make you want to worship him.
There is such joy that comes upon our lives when we lay it down for him. I have said this many times to people. The cost of serving God is nothing compared to the award. I love the passage that says, "Truly I tell you," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--along with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).
This is my experience. My life has come into agreement with this passage in the Gospel of Mark. In Wyoming I was a foreigner to that land, but the people received me as if I was their son. I sat in my friend’s house one morning, looking out the window at the most scenic view of mountains and rolling hills I have ever seen. The Lord knows how much I love views like that. In moments like these, the cost doesn’t seem too high.
We do go through persecution as Christians, but these are nothing compared to the inescapable riches of Christ. As you set your heart on him, he fills it in the most joyous ways.
I have also seen God extend my family with many children. My quiver is indeed full. When I tell people that I have seven children I never have to hang my head in shame. People may not desire this for their own life, but most realise that it is a special thing to have so many. God is the one who has done this. He has built my house and filled it with children.
In my early life when I didn’t serve Jesus Christ, my life was filled with much disappointment. It seems like an ancient memory now, but I remember times when I lacked fulfillment in my life. I remember back then: days that I looked forward to for months would pass by, and I would wonder why I looked forward to them. Many days I lived in disappointment and sadness.
It was only when Jesus came into my life that I began to truly live: The blessings of wife, children and home; The blessings of food in my cupboard; The blessings of friends from many nations. I have seen God bless me and then bless me again. What he has given me would have taken me many life times to have earned, and then I probably would have lost it anyway. The restoration that has come to my life is truly something only God could have done.
Truly I have labored in the Lord, but it has not been in vain. He has made my ways fruitful and he will make your ways fruitful as well.
You might feel like your life is in ruin. Perhaps you are older and you think nothing good could come from your life. I tell you the truth, just give your entire life to Jesus and watch what he can do! He can resurrect the dead. He can open your heart up to everything that he has in store for you.
Renounce your past, and every evil thing that comes against our God. Even well-meaning Christians have things they need to let go of. As you do, you will be filled with his presence in ways you can only experience if you let go.
I pray for you to have courage today. I pray that God helps you to see the way forward and strengthens you to enter into that way. You will not be disappointed with our God. He builds and does not destroy. He has an eternal house waiting for you.