Who’s Building Your House?

Hammer and toolboxCan you imagine Jesus figuring out His career path?  Why would He choose carpentry?  Of course back then people followed their family’s craft.  But I’m thinking He also might’ve liked building things as well.

Last night at prayer someone shared Psalm 127, which says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  It was for our church as we’re having a building project to add on to the prayer room a sanctuary out in North Vancouver, Washington also known as “Vantucky” or “the Couv”, a not-quite-so-hip suburban town across the river from Portland.  But it got me to thinking about my own life and dreams.

This Scripture could be applied to church, ministry, business, career, networking, writing a book or working on an art, media or music project, whatever it is.  It’s an attitude.

My church, well let’s put it this way.  It’s just plain weird.  Weird in a good way.  Let me tell you a story, I’ll keep it short, I promise!

About ten years ago we decided to not follow the conventional church ideas and traditions and follow an unconventional path which would emphasize worship, restoration, and the prophetic.  We moved into a nice building in Northeast Portland pouring our lives into this dream.  What happened?  It failed.  People around said that the church would die, but it stayed around for a few years meeting in a nasty old strip mall in the Gateway area.  But then all kinds of down and out teenagers came from who knows where and made commitments to Christ, many of which are still involved today.  For years we met in this old building we called “the cave.”  A wilderness experience.

Dare to Dream Poster

Put up on the wall of the old ghetto building where the youth group met.

Eventually Pastor in his call to restore took on another church in Camas which was hanging by a thread from a scandal.  I thought, WHAT?  We barely have resources as it is and we’re taking on TWO churches?  Can’t one of the big churches do this?  But apparently the restoration call was on us, so we took it.  We merged churches and set up shop at a school in East Vancouver, then sent out another church to Southeast Portland, set up a prayer center, then sent out another church to Longview, Wa.  And now a new hispanic church is meeting at our prayer center along with a youth outreach.  Four weird churches coming forth from the ashes.  We even have people in Missouri and Guana Africa.  ??? WHAT?  I still shake my head.  It’s too strange for my analytical brain.  It doesn’t seem to fit my theological training or step-by-step worship programs.  And it’s just the beginning.  There’s much, much more to go.

Okay, back to personal dreams, I worked hard on projects, but didn’t give enough priority to prayer or the important people in my life.  I have to realize that if I’m following what the Lord is telling me the rules might be different especially with a project like this.  It’s not that I’ll ignore methods, common sense, and advice as in Proverbs 11:14.  But it’s God that puts the dreams in Your heart, and often He will rock the boat.  Like when Jesus told His disciples to put their nets on the other side.

That’s why it’s called Uncharted Streams.  It’s unexplored territory.  It’s not comfortable.  It won’t necessarily look like you expected it to, frustrating as it is.  I think in reading secular material like Tim Ferris, the steps can help, but it’s more learning to adopt a mindset of confidence in uncertainty, to break out of the system.  However even the clever newer internet marketing techniques might need to be broken as well.

I guess the basic point is that we come back to prayer, reading the Word, even fasting.  This is basic stuff, I know, but it’s true.

Psalm 127:2 says, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves.”  It doesn’t mean be lazy.  It means don’t depend on yourself.  You think you’re smart and hardworking?  It’s nothing without relationship.  Listen to the prophets, take the promises of the written Word literally.  Only relationship can make this happen.

If you’ve gotten this far even by reading this stuff you’re opening an uncomfortable door.  The choice is yours.  You can play it safe and just get by, or you can dare to dream.  Sounds inspirational?  I’ll warn you, if you “take the red pill” this could be more of a hard road than you ever realized.  But it’s worth it.  If you choose this path, then start now.  Go.  Take a step.  Pray, then take action.

Category: Dreams and Goals, Personal Growth, Spiritual Thoughts |

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