Monday, October 5, 2009

What Are You Building?

A friend and I were talking the other day and she springs this one on me, “Most people are busy building their own kingdom or God’s kingdom.”

She wasn’t quoting the well-known verse, “You’re either for me or against me” but she might as well have been.

Did you know bricklayers often start off learning their trade in an apprenticeship? What word do you typically think of when you hear apprentice? Okay, not Merlin. Not what I was going for, you Monday morning mind. Learning…Studying. I was hoping you’d guess one of these. What’s my point? We learn to build a kingdom for either ourselves or for God. Who are you paying attention to and studying? Because we are building, it’s just a matter of whether or not the towers are idolatrous selfish creations or if they reach for the heavens, pointing to God.
~~~It’s so easy to brush this off, easy to say, I’m not doing anything blatant; spending hoards of cash, or touting myself every opportunity I get. But building our own kingdom can look so diverse and wear such a pretty and innocent mask. In church yesterday God whispered one of the ways I attempt to build my own kingdom. I seek validation. I love validation. Sometimes I even adore validation. I. I. I.

And what verse did our pastor direct us to after God lovingly convicted me of my own kingdom-building idol…
“Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what
account is he?” Isaiah 2:22

I find it worthy to invest time learning about and studying the One whose kingdom will never perish. I’d be wise to dedicate my gifts and efforts working to build His kingdom and I may not get any validation on the way. In fact, I hope I become so focused on building the layers up that the only validation I seek comes from God.

“Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” Psalms 45:6




*photos by flickr
**I'm over at Live Beautiful later today

23 comments:

  1. Very true. Thank you for the reminder. I'm definitely an "I" person. Today I hope I think more of Him, and do things for him rather than myself.

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  2. Validation is a biggy with me too. So not honouring God, though, is it. Thanks for the eye-opener, Wendy!!

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  3. Trying to focus on building His kingdom. I am too easily distracted and emotionally preoccupied at times.... :O)

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  4. Very inspiring, Wendy!! I think we all naturally long for validation from the people around us. In some ways, that's how God made us, to live in community and to affirm one another. It's all too easy to make it our central focus though!

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  5. God is good! This has been area I have been praying over- writing for His glory not mine. It is very easy to slip into a rhythm of working towards my own goals.

    I am praying that daily I seek God's will for my writing journey.

    Thanks Wendy for further confirmation.

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  6. Wendy, I can definitely relate to your post. I crave validation, too, and it wears me down sometimes. Thanks for the reminder, it's something I need to keep in my prayers.

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  7. Oh I couldn't be in more agreement. If anything this writing angst has dissolved into forming a better, stronger, deeper connection to the Lord. Most certainly not taking my eyes off Jesus. I just want to praise Him and glorify Him and have Him do so through me while I have breath. I ache to do this. I pray the Lord shines His glory through the both of us in spectacular ways! I just want to be a part of His glory. No glory for me it's not necessary.

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  8. What a wonderful reminder! Me, Myself and I can really get lost in doing so much, but forget that in all the doing, we are learning SO little!! That is a wonderful fresh air reminder on this Monday morning! :)

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  9. Very inspiring post, Wendy. It is sometimes very difficult in this day to not seek that validation. We all want to feel we are doing the right thing and that we are doing it well. We're just asking the wrong people when we should be directing our question and hope to Him.

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  10. Hi Wendy,

    Love your 'What are you building' post! I'm in the same place as you right now. Come join in on the fun at my blog: www.heavenlyhumor.blogspot.com

    I just launched a bloggers club with that same concept!

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  11. What a thought provoking post. I think we are all guilty of building our own kingdom from time to time. This is a great reminder to stay focused on who we really should be building a kingdom for.

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  12. Beautiful post! And so true. I think I'm a combination, although I do try hard to build His kingdom, rather than my own. It reminds me of the parable either C.S. Lewis or George MacDonald had about how we are a cottage. The Lord comes in and begins making improvements. We like this at first, until the changes become painful--especially since we often don't see the reason or need. But at the end, where we aspired to be simple cottages, He has made us a palace. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. This is such a great post, especially with all the "authors as self promoters" talk we've been hearing and reading!

    I'm totally a words of affirmation girl, so this was incredibly pertinent to my own life!

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  14. The validation that God offers us is so deep and alive and vivid that the affirmation of the world and the rewards of the world are poor, pale things beside it.

    But we only know this if we turn from the world and rely solely on Christ. When we leap, we find his arms.

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  15. Wendy, you're so in tune with the Spirit. I know you will feel the validation someday. And it won't be for your kingdom--because everything you do helps God's kingdom. That's just who you are.

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  16. this was awesome for me to read today. thanks so much for sharing it with us. i often have to check myself for the same thing; its hard when you're surrounded by the world to remember that you have a home somewhere else. i also read a chapter of crazy love today (by francis chan) about being luke warm. then i read this post. i wonder if the lord is trying to tell me something??

    thanks again-
    jen

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  17. A timely truth, and one our "adversary" never wants us to think about. I think we all want that validation, and that's a hard thing to tackle.

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  18. Have you ever read 5 Love Languages? I am hands down a words of affirmation girl, so I completely understand this struggle. I think words of affirmation can be okay. I think God gifts people to be encouragers. But I completely agree that valuing praise from man over praise from God is building up our own kingdom's, not God's.

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  19. Be the musician who plays for the pleasure, not of the audience, but of her Master.

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  20. Such a good reminder!!!! Thanks for this great thought, girl. Reminds me of the song, "I'm coming back to the heart of worship. It's all about you... it's all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the things I've made it, It's all about you."

    He's talking about the songs he writes (MWS) but wow, could be anything in our lives, specifically our books. Do we write for "us" or for Jesus?

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  21. Jessica, you wrote what I craved to happen...for people to think more throughout the day about the kingdom they were building.

    Eileen, it gets confusing out there sometimes. Glad to have opened some eyes (though yours seem pretty wide open on your blog).

    Diane, "easily distracted and emotionally preoccupied"...think there needs to be a book for women titled just that! :D

    Jody, good point, that we crave connection. I wish I could pass my need for validation as just that, but it's more and God's chipping away.

    Tamika, that is one of the best things you can pray before writing. My friend, Anne L.B. (a fellow blogger) once told me how before every post she prays. It left a deep impression on me.

    Cindy, it can wear you thin, can't it?

    T.Anne, your words were beautifully written. I like how you mentioned the word angst...there is some of that in this process, indeed.

    Bina, fresh air you wrote. I got little of that today b/c my stomach got mad at me.

    Heather, He gives the best answers anyway...not always what we want to hear, but the most truthful and uplifting anyway.

    Deborah Ann, I follow your blog so I'll have to check that out.

    Lazy Writer, One brick on this one. One brick on that one. Guilty as charged. And then there was GRACE!

    Danyelle, loved the parable and also loved your why we write post today. I so enjoy reading your writing.

    Beth, I'm a words of affirmation girl, too. My husband likes to call me a "high maintenance love language wife."

    Cassandra, LEAPING AND FINDING HIS ARMS. AMEN.

    Oh Jill, you are a gift in my life and I pray that what you wrote has truth in it...that I live that way.

    Jen, chapter 4, eh! It's a kicker in the pants type of read!!! But I loved it for that reason. I'm reading that book with the h.s. girls I lead. God's talking to you and me, then. So cool.

    Karen, I would agree with you on that. I think Satan wants us to work hard at puffing ourselves up and get really exhausted trying...and forever failing.

    Katie, I admitted my husband calls me a high maintenance love language wife, but words is usually up top for me, too. I also have the gift of encouragement and as it is w/ gifts, the flip side of a gift can be a downfall...

    Sande, can I admit I do get confused sometimes. It just happens, probably it happens most when I'm not paying attention.

    Krista, your anniversary pictures are so very sweet!!! YES, I'm saying as I read those lyrics.
    And you ended with the question of the hour:
    DO WE WRITE FOR "US" OR FOR JESUS? Perfectly tied up, Krista. Thank you!


    Wow, my stomach played Ninja on me today and in the bath my toddler threatened to do the same, hurling bath toys at me with great force. Good times! Remember when taking a bath meant lit candles, soft music and RELAXATION? Today it meant a toddler doing a nakey dance next to me, pointing out body parts, dropping a towel in, and climbing in with me. My stomach feels better now. I think it felt like it had no other choice.

    Sweet thoughts of our heavenly Father tonight. I await my home with such joyful expectation and in the meanwhile pray I live to honor and glorify Him...

    Night,
    ~ Wendy

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  22. Just read you little update there and had to tell you: You are beautiful, Miss Wendy...just as you are. :)

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  23. this is good. I want my life - what I do, how I live to reflect HIm yet too often I find I fight the things He calls me to do. Sarah

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