Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quality Construction: What are you building?

Wow, this holiness and righteousness requirement of God seems like such an impossible task to live out. In my own strength, I try to build a resistance to the attitudes, temptations, and the daily pulls I encounter.  However, an examination of my heart shows me that my best attempts are just flesh-driven habits, mantras, and resolve, easily evaporated in the heat of spiritual battles.  I need something more; I’m dependent on something greater than myself. I cannot walk this road in my own power.

What the Lord continues to do is break me, with each breaking, I become weaker in the flesh but stronger in the Spirit. My fleshly attempts at holiness have been similar to that of a man who builds his home with a faux-brick exterior but expects the performance of a real brick home. How na├»ve. As an exterior adornment, faux bricks and stonework’s look great and give the appearance of a well-built structure. What’s even more attractive is the fact that the materials are lightweight, less costly, and install quickly, having many of the aesthetic and resistive benefits of the “real thing.” From the outside, everything looks great.

However, true brick homes take time to build right and require more of an investment from those who desire this type of construction. Though costly, the investment in the “real thing” provides an increased resistance to infestation, rot, and harsh weather while providing some thermal benefits.

Translate this analogy over to your spiritual walk and you will see that we are faced with those same decisions as we choose to allow God to build our lives—or just settle for something that costs less. Have you considered the cost? Psalm 127:1 tells us, “Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain.” Are you allowing the Lord to be the architect and builder of your spiritual life? We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need a wise architect, a strong builder, and quality materials. Through grace, they’re provided through the power of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Paul tells us in Hebrews 3:10-13 (NIV), “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.”

It this relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that builds the type of life and treasures that moths, rust, and thieves cannot destroy or steal. Pull the sign out of the yard, I’m buying! 

Are you allowing the Lord to be the architect and builder of your spiritual life?

This has been a guest post by a very good friend and brother in Christ, M. Coffin. Look forward to more great posts in the near future!