I’m sure by now everyone has noticed all of the road construction going on around our area, and we have all had to adjust to this on a daily basis. In the same way, I believe that we are all under construction spiritually.
In Ephesians 2:10 we read that we are God’s workmanship, created to do good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do. In terms of construction, I believe there are 3 things that we can all relate to as God keeps working on us daily.
First of all, the foundation is everything. We have to build our lives upon the rock and not the sinking sand of this world. We have to have that firm foundation so that when the storms of life come they will not bring us down. I read a story of someone that wanted to repaint their house, but when they started stripping away the old paint and really looking into the house, it was eaten up with termites. Everything looked good on the outside, but internally it was rotting away due to the infestation. In our own lives, things might appear fine on the surface, but if we don’t have Christ as our foundation we are in danger of spiritually being blown away by the cares of this world.
Next, we have to guard our gates while we are under construction. This is in relation to our eyes, ears, and mouth. In other words, it’s important to watch what we are seeing, hearing and saying. David saw Bathsheba bathing one night, and he should have looked the other way, but instead he called for her, committed adultery, and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Job said that he made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. He was truly guarding the gates.
In terms of hearing, we start to believe if we hear things over and over again. The Bible says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God! When Paul and Silas were in prison, they started singing and praising and the other prisoners heard the praise. When God came on the scene, as the sound of praise went forth, all the prison doors were opened and every chain came loose. Did you catch that? Even the ones that were not praising, but hearing the sound of praise, were set free! What a powerful thought about how important it is to watch what we are hearing.
As far as the mouth, we need to put a guard over our mouth as Psalms 141:3 tells us. We need to speak things that will edify and not tear down; in other words speak life and not death to each and everyone we come in contact with including ourselves.
Finally, we have to have patience in the process. I think about the road construction and the sign holder that turns the sign from stop to slow. In life, sometimes God is holding that sign that says stop, and we have to remember he knows what lies ahead. Patience is the key as we fully trust God with our future as he already knows what will happen. One day we were stopped in Conway on the freeway for several minutes, and I was getting frustrated until the worker told us there was a crane in the middle of the freeway. I then realized if I would have ran into the crane in my van, the crane would have won that battle! James 5:8 tells us, “you too, be patient and stand firm, because the coming of the Lord is near.”
We are closer now than ever before, so we have to let the master builder work on us daily to complete the work He started in us all. I will leave you with a story of a young man that had a nice car and was driving down the street one day, when a kid threw a brick at him and dented his car. The man jumped out and pushed the kid back, and was very angry until the kid started to speak. Fighting back tears, he said he was sorry to have thrown the brick, but his brother had fallen out of the wheelchair and no one had stopped to help him get his brother back in the wheelchair. The driver of the car, now realizing the importance of the moment, helped the kid and his brother and then he left with a renewed faith and purpose. He never fixed the dent in his nice car so that it would always serve as a reminder to never be so busy that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention.
What a powerful reminder for us to slow down, and embrace the construction that is underway knowing the finish product will be so much better than where we started. The next time someone asks how it’s going, just say, “Pardon the interruption, but I’m still under construction!”
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Rocky Thomas is Senior Pastor, Botkinburg Foursquare Church.