Psa 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
This verse is full of physical and spiritual implications. It may be understood of the building of a physical house wherein dwells a family. Or, it may be understood of the building of the family spiritually; that is, using the instruction and wisdom of the Word of God to build a solid family, wherein God abides and is honored, and growth in the knowledge of Jesus Christ is carried out, proven by the bearing of fruit, more fruit and much fruit of the Spirit of God. Or, it may be understood of the building of the House of God.
However, the central thought that Solomon brought to his readers is, unless God build the house, “they labor in vain that build it.” The truth of the matter is: God is not only the Author and Finisher of our faith; He is the Alpha and Omega; He is the Architect, the Source, the Planner, the Supply and the Supplier. He is the Wisdom and Understanding. He is the Giver of all gifts (talents) from the architect, to the craftsman, to the owner; whether it be in the building of a physical house, the molding of the family unit, or the building up of the House of God (the Church). All plans, all provision, all perception and all power come from God. God is the Creator, the Controller and the Consummator of all things.
The first thing that all men must come to, to have success in this life is to:
a) Acknowledge that there is a God, and He is the only True and Living God, Who is the Beginning of all things, including man and life itself. The Apostle John, in the Gospel according to John, says that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and He was the Creator of all things:
(Joh 1:1-4) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Therefore (Genesis 1:1) says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”; which means that Jesus Christ, the Word of God that became flesh, yet without sin, and dwelt among men, is God and therefore is the Creator of all things, even man.
b) The second thing man must do is: he must acknowledge that he is the created and God is the Creator; and God the Creator is the Controller of his life. Man is not in charge of his own destiny, contrary to the doctrine of the false prophet’s teaching; but God is. (Pro 19:21) “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand”. This verse plainly states that it is God’s counsel that stands; and not the ideas and schemes of frail man, who is but dust, and shall return to the dust of the earth. So, for man to have success, he must start at the Fountain Head, Jesus Christ, and (Pro 3:5-6):
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
The reason being, God is the Beginning of all Creation, and He is the Controller of His own creation, and He is the Consummator of all things. Man’s destiny is not in his own hands, but in the Hands of the Sovereign God, the Creator of this universe. God is the Planner according to His own Purpose and good Pleasure; He is the Provider of life and the Sustainment of the same; and He is the Power of life itself and of all things. Man is frail, has sin within, and has no perception and no power unless given to him by Almighty God, even Jesus Christ. Someone says, “But I don’t believe there is a God; for man is controller of his own life and destiny.”
How foolish is mere man in his own pride; for without God he could not breathe; could not exercise the five God-given senses (see, hear, smell, feel, and taste); could not process anything mentally without the ability to reason; did not conceive himself; nor make himself grow; nor can change the color of his skin or his stature; did not select his parents or any of his characteristics; or select the place of his birth; or how he will die. This kind of thought could go on and on without end, showing that man is completely dependent upon his Creator. Therefore, there is no success by man without acknowledging that there is a God; and that the God is the Creator of all creation; and that the God is the Controller of His creation according to His Plan and Purpose, and not based upon man and his will. No, a thousand times no; for He alone is God and the “house” must be built (the plan; the purpose; the provision; the power must come from the Source), by God and by Him alone.
c) The third thing man must do to have success in building the house is, not only Surrender to God as Sovereign, but he must Submit to the Will of God. It is one thing to say there is a God and that God is in control; but man must submit to the will of God for his life, and not be in rebellion to God. Here again, it is one thing for the servant to be made to serve, and another thing for the servant to desire to serve. The motive in the heart must be changed from “the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” (Eph. 4:22b); to the “new man”; (Eph. 4:23-24) “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Man must be made a new creature, (2Co 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When a man becomes the dwelling place of God through regeneration; then man has a new will; a new desire, and that is to please Christ, his Savior and Master.
d) The fourth thing man must do after regeneration is to Obey the Commandments of God. Man then must put his new will and his new desire to action; that is, to put love in action; or to walk by faith (or by Christ; for Christ is The Faith; (Gal. 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Christ told the Apostles in (John 14:15) “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The truth of the matter is, once God sheds His love into your heart; then you become a God-lover, and you desire to please Him in all your actions. You then begin to “build the house” in the Power of God and in His Wisdom; and then success will come to you.
e) Lastly, for man to be successful in his building efforts of the house, he must Endure in the Word of God and in the Way of God. That is, do it God’s way, by the Power of God, and do it until the end. Be steadfast in the Doctrine of Christ; don’t turn to the left or to the right, but keep your eyes upon Christ and follow Him without reservation, without murmuring and complaining, without putting your own ideas ahead of God’s Purpose and Plan; and always walk in Peace and Holiness.
Notice God gave Joshua the Plan of Success:
(Jos 1:1) Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
(Jos 1:2) Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
(Jos 1:3) Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
(Jos 1:4) From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
(Jos 1:5) There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
(Jos 1:6) Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
(Jos 1:7) Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
(Jos 1:8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (This is the Way of Success in building the house; in fact this is the only way to have success; it is God’s Way or no way on the road to success.)
(Jos 1:9) Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
In closing, why is it so hard to follow God’s Plan for success in our life’s building process? The answer is, The Pride of life. It is Pride in every man that must be dealt the death blow. Until a man: a) Surrenders to the Sovereign; b) Submits to His Will above man’s will; c) Obeys the commandments of God in the power of the Holy Spirit; and d) Endures in the above – there will not be success in the building of the house: “they labor in vain that build it.”