‘It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation; it takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.’ Prov. 24:3-4
I don’t know if you have ever worked on a building project. It is all-consuming.
Eighteen years ago this month, my husband and I bought an ugly house on a pretty street. It needed to be completely redone but we saw the potential for our growing family and so we took a leap and embarked on years of redecorating, building work, dust and dirt.
And, this summer my brother and his wife finished a monumental project. For three years they managed the building of a new medical clinic in Mexico and it completely took over their lives. They are incredibly proud of the end result but so happy to be finished!
Building a clinic can teach you a lot about life.
That is because there are so many darn decisions! Some are really, really important and some are not and you have to know which is which. Some decisions take a lot of thought and some just need to be made quickly so you can move on. Sometimes those decisions have a knock-on effect that you didn’t anticipate. Building projects of any kind can have tricky junctures that need to be navigated and problems that block your forward motion until you solve them.
And so it is with our lives.
Proverbs 24.3-4 beautifully reminds us that we dare not built without God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding. It is above our pay grade.
In Exodus 35.31 we see that the craftsmen working on the tabernacle needed supernatural wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 3.19-20 tells that creation was formed using wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
If you look up the meanings of wisdom, knowledge and understanding you will see definitions like skilful, shrewd, insightful, intelligent, cunning, aware of the facts, thoughtful, sensible, practical, well-fitted and stable.
Like Proverbs 24.3-4 so beautifully describes, we are all building things. We are building marriages and families and ministries and careers. We are helping our children build their futures and faith-walks. We are constructing relationships and characters and legacies every minute of every day, either consciously or unconsciously.
These precious projects need insight, skill and thoughtfulness. They cannot be thrown up or they will fall down. Foundations need to be laid well, structures need careful planning and layouts have to practically work or they are no good. There is so much to think about, how do we manage it all?
We read in Ecclesiastes 4.12 that there is a strength in the number three and I believe there is a durableness to our lives when we look for our wisdom, understanding and knowledge from three places –
God’s wonderful, perfect Word,
really great advice from good people
and the personal promptings of the Holy Spirit
Now, we all have our natural tendencies. Some of us are quite independent and so we look to God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit but we are not particularly interested in advice from others.
Others of us thrive on advice from books and friends but don’t take the time to seek God’s will for ourselves in His Word and in prayer.
And some of us read and follow the Bible but haven’t yet discovered the whispers of the Spirit that can help us apply Bible verses or advice for a specific situation in a really personal way.
I think that if we neglect any of these, it can make us weak and unbalanced.
Marriages and friendships, families and ministries all need a foundation of God’s way of doing things that we find in His Word. You cannot scrimp here because it will determine the strength and stability of the finished product. There is endless wisdom for every area of our lives found within the pages of the Bible, just waiting to be discovered and applied.
But our building projects also need inspiration. Like the dozens of home decoration magazines I devoured when I was working on my house, we can be creatively stimulated by others. New ways of doing things, different perspectives and clever insights are invaluable. So, read good books and articles. Listen to Godly advice and implement it. Ask questions of those around you who are building well. Let wise counsel be a gift in your life that sparks solutions.
And then let the Holy Spirit breathe life into it all. Listen to His sweet voice as He gives you insights that will transform situations with the resurrection power of God. Allow Him to show you not just how to do things but when to do them. Let His voice guide you personally. Listen and follow.
Every day we are building things.
Don’t build alone.
Allow wise people to come alongside you and help you. Let God’s Word inform the design so that every room looks like Him. And, eagerly welcome the still small voice of the Spirit of God.