THE BEST-LAID PLANS
Lord Jesus, please come to me as You came to Bethlehem. I need a recognition of Your presence, I need the guidance of Your wisdom.
Read Psalm 127
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
- Psalm 127:2 Or eat— / for while they sleep he provides for
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.
ReflectThink back over the past year. What joys and sorrows has it held? How have you seen God’s hand at work in and through both?
The words of Psalm 127:1 are inscribed in the tiled floor of the Palace of Westminster’s magnificent central lobby: ‘Unless the Lord builds …’ They are there to remind the UK’s parliamentarians that all their planning and work is futile if it is not done in the name and power of God. Earthly empires come and go, but only God’s is eternal.
As we approach the end of the year it is a time to reflect on what is past and prepare for what is to come. All our New Year’s resolutions will be worthless, though, if we are simply trying to meet our own goals in our own strength. We can prepare wisely and work willingly, but unless we are working in line with the will of God, we will achieve nothing of value.
The flip side of this is that it is also futile to worry and be anxious about our success or failure (2). Worry is an attempt to take our problems out of our loving Father’s powerful hands into our own, much weaker ones.
Submit the coming year into God’s hands. Can you trust Him to lead and guide you? Can you ask that His will would be done in your life?
Father God, I need special grace to embrace the old adage, “Pray as if there is no such thing as work, work as if there is no such thing as prayer.” Then I know things will be accomplished for You.
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