You May Build It, They May Not Come

There’s a popular saying is based off of a quote from the movie Field of Dreams: 

“If you build it, they will come.”

We hear it often, usually in connection with ministries, programs, or facilities that are launching or expanding. However, the whole concept is a myth. Unfortunately, many people actually believe it is a Bible verse or a summation of a promise made by God.

What This Mindset Is Not

Biblically Based
Those who consider the concept Christian in nature often justify it as is related to God’s dwelling in the Temple in Israel. His people built a house for Him – and He came. Somehow, we miss the part when God determined who would build it and where He would dwell. In fact, God was very specific about this. He even told David not to construct the building, eventually giving Solomon the task instead.

Logical
Even basic logic impresses on us the falsehood of this saying. You can open twenty bank accounts, but that doesn’t mean they will fill with money. If you cook a meal for twelve, that doesn’t mean that twelve people will show up at the table. Of course, we know that our Lord performs miracles, but throughout the Bible He does so to prove and confirm things about Himself, not to glorify men or meet our goals.

unless-the-lord-builds-the-house-the-builders-labor-in-vain

What This Mindset Is

Prideful
To assume that God will support our plans “just because” is prideful. Our plans are often part of us “submitting to our own righteousness,” developing our own kingdoms on earth (Romans 10:3). Even projects and plans that we do “for God,” if they are not in line with God’s will, reflect only our selfish desires.

Shortsighted
In 2 Peter 1, we are told to make “our calling sure”. The verse warns us against being short-sighted, which leads to stumbling. A list of qualities of the Godly, including knowledge and self-control, is given to indicate how we can be sure we are in line with God’s plans.

All throughout Scripture we see that God’s plans are more focused on our hearts’ obedience than anything else. When our plans pursue roundabout avenues of pleasing God, rather than the direct path of humble submission, we are acting in a short-sighted manner, regardless of how many years ahead our plans span.

Wasteful
The result of believing and acting on this saying, as many abandoned, half-finished, and bankrupt churches and ministries can attest, is waste.

Jesus condemns storing up things on this earth excessively. Through passages like Luke 12, which is about a man and his storehouses, the Lord makes clear that all of our worldly things are ultimately futile because they will pass away. We are to store up our treasures in heaven. We are to avoid excess. Large buildings and extensive ministries can be Godly, but we must watch as they can also be wasteful, loaded with surplus and extravagance.

Come, And He May Build It

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” –Psalm 127:1 Click To Tweet

Christ delights in our obedience. At times, He calls us to build. Sometimes to build each other up, at other times to build homes, churches, and other structures.

We can come to the Lord and ask when we have dreams and ideas. He is faithful to answer perfectly those who ask in faith and seek to build on the rock, which is His truth. By earnestly and humbly approaching the Lord with our plans, we protect ourselves from the many snares of simply assuming that our desires our righteous.

What He builds lasts. What He builds is a part of His will and has eternal impact for His glory.

{This post was originally published on My Faith Radio}


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12 Replies to “You May Build It, They May Not Come

  1. This is a great reminder- it shouldn’t be about us working out our plans and assuming God will bless them, but about us seeking God and how he wants us to be involved in what he is doing.

  2. What appears to be faith can so easily slide into presumption. We do not know the mind of God on every topic, and He will not be boxed into our blue prints.
    Thanks, Bethany, for this God-exalting post.

  3. Th8is is why it is so important to stay in communication with our Father. I know he is big enough and cares so much that he will redirect us back the right way if we ask, but if we are already talking to him hopefully we’ll be sensitive about these things. This is a powerful post, friend. Thanks for sharing it. I didn’t mean to sound preachy. Those were the thoughts pulled out after I read this. I know I needed it. God bless!

    1. Yes! I don’t know about you, but I will walking beside more than wandering and being redirected. No preachiness- just good thoughts : ) Thank you!!

    1. Kelly before I knew the Lord and started studying His Word myself this line and others (like “God won’t give you more than yu can handle”) were what I thought the Bible said. Yes- It’s SO important we check against Scripture and cite Scripture so people can check our words against His too!

  4. This is so true!! I have witnessed this happening…. folks think they are “stepping out in faith” and what is actually happening is that they are trying make manifest a desire of their heart before the Lord has brought about the appointed time. I’ve seen several Pastors link themselves with Holy Spirit dampening denominations that will fund their church plant. Without the movement of the Spirit in the Body, church growth will be suppressed and they are left feeling like they failed. On the flip side, I’ve seen anointed church plants take off and flourish in amazing ways! It’s so important to know what the Word of God has to say about it and go from there! Beautiful and vital Christ honoring message!

    1. True, Michelle! Must always start and take off because the Lord is the One leading and it aligns with His Word. Glad this resonated with you. Thanks for sharing your experience and encouragement!

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