Unless The Lord Builds The House
Part One:  By Wisdom A House Is Built

  By Kim Butts

    "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Psa. 127:1a).

    "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures" (Prov. 24:3-4).

    According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a house is "a structure serving as a dwelling for one or more persons, especially for a family." In the Bible, a "house" is symbolic of the life of an individual or a family. How is the spiritual climate of your house? Are you trusting the Father, and allowing Him, who created all things, to be in complete control of building your house?

Godly Wisdom vs. Worldly Wisdom

    As most of us know, there is a kind of worldly knowledge and understanding which has no connection to the Father. Knowledge is defined as becoming acquainted with information, facts, insights, data, etc. through learning. However, we can have worldly knowledge without truly understanding what we know, and acquiring worldly knowledge does not necessarily make us wise. In fact, it can often make us extremely foolish in the sight of Godís kingdom: "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe" (1 Cor. 1:20-21). It is a strange paradox that worldly people think the way of God is foolish and yet the truth of God says that such foolishness will give eternal life to those who accept it.

    True spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding originated in the heart of God and can only be given by Him: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (Jas. 1:5). It is clear from this passage that in order to obtain spiritual wisdom, we must ask the Father for it. It can not be obtained by our own efforts. So, as is the way of our Sovereign Lord, His plan is the exact opposite of the worldís way: "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Prov. 2:6). "By wisdom the Lord laid the earthís foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew" (Prov. 3:19-20).

    As Christians, we must believe that everything comes from Godís hand alone, and not as a result of our own striving. Any efforts we make to build our own houses are vain, ineffective and worthless apart from Him. When we fall into the trap of attempting to construct godly homes in our own strength, we have been blinded to our sinful efforts by the enemy of our souls. So, if you are reading this, and realize how much of your own house (family) you have built with your own ideas and labor, itís time to stop and seek the face of God in repentance. Begin to allow the Father to rebuild from the foundation up with His wisdom and not the wisdom of the world. The latter believes that if we just gain enough knowledge about God, we will better understand Him and that will lead to wisdom. This is not wisdom, but foolishness: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than manís wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than manís strength" (1 Cor. 1:25).

With Humility Comes Wisdom

    Proverbs 11:2 tells us, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." So, if "by wisdom a house is built" we must have humility that is demonstrated by our willingness to completely surrender to the Master Builder! It is time to dig into and mine the precious, invaluable spiritual truths that will bring your family into the fullness of all God has for you in Christ Jesus so that your home will be established through understanding and every room filled with rare and beautiful treasures as you gain knowledge. And if we donít obey, Scripture tells us that, "The Lord tears down the proud manís houseÖ" (Prov. 15:25a). His Word also says that "Öthe house of the righteous stands firm" (Prov. 12:7b).

Spiritual Truths about Wisdom

    ē Wisdom is an attribute of God which He possessed before creation: "The Lord brought me [wisdom] forth as the first of His works, before His deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began" (Proverbs 8:22-23). "But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding" (Jer. 10:12). "How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures" (Psa. 104:24). Do your children understand who created them, and that God has a purpose and a plan for them? Do you help them to experience the power of God in teaching them to be in a continually growing relationship with Him through prayer and the Word? This is the way to cooperate with the Father as He builds your home.

    ē Wisdom is God-given, and there is no other source from which it can come: "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Prov. 2:6). When your children ask a question, do you give a worldly answer based on your own knowledge and understanding, or do you point them to the wisdom of God through His powerful Word?

    ē Jesus Christ has become for us wisdom from God: "It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God Ė that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30). Are your children being trained to look for spiritual answers in difficult times or decisions rather than worldly ones? Do you point them to Jesus Christ with every opportunity as they make their way into the future that God has planned for them?

    ē We must learn how to understand the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom! "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise" (Psa. 111:10). Has every member of your household made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of his or her life? Does your family worship God out of holy fear (awe) of Him? Are they growing daily and learning to stand firm in the wisdom of the Spirit, or are they being seduced by the "wisdom" of the world?

    ē To get wisdom, we must be willing to ask God for it: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (Jas. 1:5). When you are uncertain about how to handle situations in your home, do you make decisions based upon your own understanding, or do you lean upon Godís? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones" (Prov. 3:5-8). Do you admit to your spouse and/or your children when you donít have an answer and go to the Lord in prayer to seek His heart, as King Jehoshaphat did? He prayed on behalf of all of the families of Judah, "ĎO our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.í All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord" (2 Chron. 20:12-13).

    ē We must pray for wisdom, believing that God will answer! "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does" (Jas. 1:6-8). Do your children believe in the power of prayer? Do they wait expectantly for His answer? The story is told of a pastor who called his congregation together to pray during a time when their area had experienced the worst drought in many years. As he looked out over the people gathered to pray for the Lord to send rain, he noticed a young girl sitting excitedly on the front pew, her umbrella by her side. It occurred to him that most of the people had come to ask God for rain, but this young lady had come expecting to see God answer! She was believing! "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mark 11:24).

    Are you teaching your children how to avoid being double-minded; to stand firm upon the wisdom and teaching of God so that they are not taken in by worldly teachers or friends who seem wise? "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (Eph. 4:14). There is much false teaching being thrown at our children, and they must be taught how to pray, believing in the power, plans and purposes of God and His wisdom for their lives. If they are not given a strong foundation of seeking the heart of the Father who will give them strength to stand firm, they will never build a faith of their own that will withstand the foolishness of the world.

    Teach them how to allow God to build their own spiritual homes so that they will not flounder in confusion and meekly give in to things that only seem wise! They will be tempted to believe the wrong things if they donít stay attached to Jesus in prayer, believing that He will hear and answer whenever the way seems unclear. They must know that God will give them the wisdom they seek based on His promise in James 1:5.

    ē We must have the confidence to receive Godís wisdom after we ask Him for it. "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matt. 21:22). In response to our petition, based upon James 1:5, the Father will give His wisdom by speaking into our hearts and through His Word. Since His Word is infallible and unquestionably true, and our hearts can be deceived by the enemy, it makes sense that His Word is the most trustworthy source of His wisdom. Anything we think we have heard from God through our hearts must be put through the filter of His Word. If we ask the Lord for His divine wisdom, and then donít have the patience to receive it from Him in His perfect timing, we will be tempted to once again, build in our own strength. How often do we get impatient when what we ask for doesnít come right away? "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him" (1 John 3:21-22).

    Your home should be built by the wisdom that comes only from God. If He is not the builder, your foundation will crack and you will have a poorly constructed dwelling for your family to live in. Part Two will focus on laying the foundation of your home and building upon it.

    If you would like to read more articles by Kim Butts, please visit www.harvestprayer.com.