Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1
When Karen and I were married, we made our first home purchase. It was my home. I loved my home. It was mine and it was all mine. Mine, mine, mine. I led my family deep into debt to make my home nicer.
A few years later, the Lord laughingly would call us to Atlanta and take away my home. We moved into a small apartment with all of our financed purchases being stored in the apartment one on top of the other. We began the process of getting out of debt. The Lord showed me how much I had gotten out of His will regarding my home. I never saw it as a gift. I saw it as an entitlement.
Karen hated apartment life. I loved it. I loved the community. I loved seeing the landscapers mowing the lawn, repair men repairing things, and the simplicity of apartment living. I was not out there sweating and mowing dirt like I had done in South Georgia yet I had learned a happy wife is a happy life.
Karen spent a year working for a local university under a hostile environment. She deserved her own home. It had been a stressful year for both of us and God blessed us with a home. This time I understood it was not an entitlement. It was God choosing to bless us despite my arrogant past and stinky thinking.
The search began and we found our home. An investor would sweep in and make a higher bid. We found another home and was sitting in the parking lot of local restaurant with pens in hand when our agent received a call. Our home became available again and the bank had accepted our offer.
When God gave us our home, we immediately gave it back to Him. I had learned unless the Lord builds the house, we would only labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1) Karen and I with our 18 months old son, Joshua, moved into a home which was much bigger than we could imagine for our little family. It was not our home though. It was God’s.
I kept reminding myself it was not mine. I kept renewing my mind. I did not want to get into the terrible thinking I had done before. I dreamed how God would use it. I would think of ways God could use our home to bless others. What we did not know was God would grow our heart to the size of our home and expand our family through adoption.
Almost a year late after we moved in, a little eleven year old boy named Jacob, would become our son. All the while, our home was a refuge for many needing a place to stay and for family and friends traveling. It was not our home. It was God’s home.
Five years after Jacob, our family would expand from four to nine with Jadon, Karena, Kaylyn, Kristina, and Jair. Today, every square inch of our home is taken up. God has truly built our home as He has built our family. God has built our family as He has built our home. His plan is prevailing.
Karen and I believe everything we possess is not our own. We are managers. God gives us things in order for us to be a blessing or for God to bless us with those things. It took God taking away what I thought was mine to teach me I don’t own anything. Everything I have comes from Him. That was a course I failed. Thank God He is the God of retakes!
I am always up for an adventure and being a manager is the most exciting adventure. You never know when God is going to ask you as the manager to use the resources He has given you to help someone else. God is so great, He has incredible bonus plans for those who do what He ask.
This is an important principle we pass to our children – people are more important than things. Our family has been blessed by many possessions. Our responsibility is to make sure they don’t possess us. When possessions possess us, God can’t possess us. This leads to distortion.
Distortion is an accounting term for the action of providing misleading accounts or impressions. When we take the possessions God bless us and live and present to those around us as our own, we commit distortion. Distortion is crime. When you commit distortion with God, you take away His lordship and place it upon yourself.
When you view everything you possess – your financial accounts, homes, automobiles, properties, technologies, vacations, degrees, and the like – belongs to God, came from Him, and can be used by Him via yourself and your family, you then are the manager God uses and provides blessed bonuses for jobs well done.
Do you have possessions? Do your possessions have you? Are you the manager of things God has blessed you? Are you committing distortion making people think you achieved things not your own? Begin the exciting adventure of becoming a manager of your possessions. The journey is one where unexpected blessings are around every corner.
To be continued. . .
For more post regarding our adoption story, visit The Art of Our Adoption(s): Pain.
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