Building a blog. Building a platform. Building a following.
In this blogging world, we read about building all the time, don’t we?
With each word and thought and post and comment,
each interaction, each tweet, each mention and share, we are building.
But what are we building?
I have wrestled with this question every time the idea of platform building is brought up, and I shrink back. The reality of Genesis 11 hits me with full force, and I wonder if my mind equates building my platform to building my tower of Babel.
“They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ … Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves…’ (Genesis 11:3-4).
A name for ourselves.
The barb of those words pierces me through.
That old slave of seeking approval and perfection and wanting to be accepted and liked and seen rears its ugly head, and I must flee!
The temptation to stack those bricks to make a name for myself can whisper loud at times, but may it never be! I don’t want to build with bricks. I am not called to build with bricks. I am called to be a living stone.
Living stones don’t build towers; they become altars.
And those altars are beautiful because on them we pour out, lay down, give away, that our lives might become a living sacrifice.
Less of me; more of Him.
Sweet sister, can’t you already feel the freedom in that?
Even in this competitive world of blogging,
even in the desire to get noticed,
we can put off envy and division. Selfish ambition has no place. We can let go of vain striving and fierce competition. As we become that altar and pour ourselves out for His name, following His lead, we find the purpose and fullness and hope He has for us.
Bricks are made by man, but stones are created by God. I am not the builder, He is.
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127:1-2 NLT).
What endless toil there is in laboring over a plan that is not God’s.
Solomon knew this well when he penned Psalm 127, one of the very few Psalms written by him. One well acquainted with meaningless striving (Ecclesiastes 1), Solomon recognized that all the effort and time and work spent on anything that God does not build is wasted effort. It is pointless. Futile. Meaningless.
It is just bricks.
“Imagine pouring your daily efforts into something completely meaningless. None of us wants our work to be in vain…The question we need answered is whether or not God is in our labor and indeed initiated it as His own building project” (Beth Moore, Stepping Up).
Are we spending ourselves on making bricks? Are our blogs just another way to build a name for our selves, or are we surrendering selfish ambition, following Christ’s lead, living lives marked by spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God so that we might be living stones?
We are not to build up for ourselves but pour out for Him.
We aren’t called to build, but to be.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
“I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him” (Romans 1:1-2 MSG).
Oh Sisters, may it be that our words, our blogs, our very lives follow God’s lead and be all about making much of Him!
“Not to us O Lord, not to us, but to YOUR name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).
Soli Deo Gloria!