“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 those he loves.” – Psalm 127:1-2
I have had several friends build houses from the ground up over the years, and the one consistent thing I hear in the process is that it is one of the hardest, most stressful things to do. The last few weeks in the Elevate Dance Ministry journey have been exciting, scary and at times overwhelming; however, I keep coming back to the picture of building a house — difficult in the process, but beautiful in the end. Right now we are pouring the foundation and framing it out. We have dedicated this project to the Lord and established our bylaws and statement of faith according to Biblical truth. In my mind, this is the foundation upon which the rest of Elevate will be built.
Now we are framing it out! We are talking to CPA’s about taxes, dealing with banking & potential payroll, software for accounting purposes & software for class management, continuing web development, searching for property… These are structures that, once in place, will provide the framework for us to do our jobs well moving forward. Not fun, but very necessary!
When people build houses, it is easy to think about the fun parts – what architecture you like, the paint and décor and lighting. Very few see the foundation and framework, and it isn’t the most fun or glamorous part of building. But it is vital!
This is where we are! It is tempting to stay stuck in my checklists…and there are a lot! It is tempting to leave God in the bylaws and statement of faith and take over in my own strength. If I let myself, I lose sleep and wake up at 3:00 AM with something to add to the lists (if I’m honest). But God is really doing a work in me to not just pray occasionally, but to really press in fully and have my ears attuned to Him more and more. Truthfully, at the end of the day, this isn’t my house or Elevate’s house, it is the Lord’s! If I start to confuse that, I WILL build in vain and be exhausted and lose sleep. And I know it doesn’t mean we get to sit back and do nothing either. We must be like Nehemiah building the wall of Jerusalem – a hammer in one hand to do God’s work as directed. A sword in the other knowing an enemy will try to discourage and dismantle our efforts. God is teaching me the key is that action must be a response of obedience to His call, not self-determined striving. I need my lists for organization and reminders of the work I am to do. But these lists must be God directed, and my life needs balance. It is an interesting tight rope to walk right now – balancing action/obedience with listening/resting. But God is teaching me!!!
So what about you? We want to do real life with you and want you on this journey with us. We know you are on a personal journey too! At the end of the day we are all building houses in one capacity or another. Whether it is a literal house, our families, our careers…all of us have things we are building or working towards. But seriously, who is the Master Builder? Do we REALLY submit our efforts and plans to Him? Do we know HOW to hear Him daily? That is my prayer for me and you!!! My prayer is for believers everywhere that we learn to hear God in the day-to-day. I pray that God isn’t compartmentalized to a 15 minute quiet time or a Sunday morning, and then we go make our own plans. I pray we awaken to a greater understanding that God is in the 24/7, nitty gritty with us. I pray that our actions would daily become responses of obedience and daily adventures with God rather than self-directed determinations. I believe we can hear His Spirit speak to us as we go about our days and that if we listen to Him these “houses” we build will be more beautiful than we ever would have thought possible and be well worth the seasons of foundations and framing.
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