Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves.”
Here’s something you should know about yourself: you’re a builder. Wherever are, you’re building something: a community, a reputation, a savings account, a career, a home or a family. God is a builder. That’s one way we’re made in His image.
But like every good thing in God’s created world, the enemy distorts. So we build, but often we build our own kingdoms, not God’s.
“Let’s build a great city,” the people say. There’s nothing wrong with building a great city. God often assigns people to build great things. Noah built an ark. In the desert, God’s people built an entire camp. God gave them instructions to build His tabernacle right in the middle of the camp. Later, He gave Solomon the assignment to build a permanent temple. Along their journey, the people built altars marking their history with God. In exile in Babylon, God gave them instructions to “build houses and settle down.”
The problem comes when we build for ourselves. On the edge of the promised land, God warned the people: “Be careful! When you have built fine homes and your flocks have become large, don’t forget the Lord who led you through the wilderness. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to say, ‘We did this ourselves!’” (Deuteronomy 8)
When you build a city for yourself, then you need a tower to protect what you’ve built. And a wall around it. Then you’re in the business of maintaining and guarding your own kingdom. Maybe you never intended to get into all that. Maybe you forgot what God calls us to build.
God is building His kingdom through believers, and He invites us to join Him. He uses us as living stones (1 Peter 2:5). He calls us to build each other up, together becoming the place where God dwells.
You were made to build. What are you building?
- What has God provided for you? How has He cared for you? Take some time to remember these things. Do you have a marker or reminder for those—something that reminds you of those times? Are you passing these memories down? Spend some time doing those things so you don’t forget.
- What do these scriptures tell you about your building assignment? Romans 15:2; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Who has God put you alongside? How are you building them up? Has God given you a place in ministry where you can build others up?
- Read the story of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21. Does this story describe you? What should you do? How should you pray?