How To Not Waste Your Efforts


“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. 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.” – 127:1-2

I’m a go-get-’em kind of guy. Once I get an idea in my head, I want to take action, to start turning my idea into reality. I don’t like waiting around for things to happen, I like making things happen. It also bothers me when someone responds to one of my ideas by saying, “Why don’t you think and pray about it for a little bit?” I don’t want to think or pray, I want to do! I guess that’s why I’m a sucker for the book Getting Things Done, which revolves around the concept of identifying next action steps and moving projects forward. I’m sure that some of you can identify with me.

But as I’ve grown in the Lord I’ve started to notice some major, sinful flaws in my “go-getter” attitude. First, it fosters self-sufficiency. A failure to pray about decisions is evidence that I’m sinfully self-sufficient. It shows that I’m quite confident in my own ability to make wise decisions, and don’t feel the need to appeal to God for wisdom. A lack of prayer shows that I’m supremely confident in my own ability to make and execute my plans. A lack of prayer is wicked and displeasing to the Lord. Second, the “go-getter” attitude can create a breeding ground for pride and arrogance. It leads to a “look at what I’ve accomplished” attitude. As a go-getter, I feel pride in the things that I’ve accomplished and the plans that I’ve made a reality.

How do we avoid these temptations? Psalm 127 makes it quite clear. God is pleased when we are dependent on him. He’s pleased when we acknowledge our desperate need for Him. All success comes from the Lord, and therefore all praise should go to the Lord. Scripture informs us that unless the Lord builds a house, the builders labor in vain. Friend, what are you building in your life? A career? A family? A business? A marriage? The truth is, you will not succeed apart from God’s power at work in your life.

Friends, let us seek to honor God by acknowledging our dependence on Him today. As you seek to build your family, or business, or career, or marriage, cry out to God for help. Honor Him by being dependent on Him.

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Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook