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One Block at A Time

I have written other blogs with “brick” illustrations in the past.  It seems I can never get away from how God is building our lives.  The house building application applies across the board and brings the Christian Walk into focus in a vivid way.  That is why in explaining the “how to build a strong foundation in your walk” will be illustrated in the same way.  This time it won’t be bricks, because bricks deal more with the outward appearance and actually make more sense after some other elements are in place and firm.  I hope to firm up one major area today and that area is The Foundation.

Years ago when I was a worker for a man who built custom homes I found myself learning how to do a little bit of everything.  I learned to frame a house, do finish work, put on a roof, and many other tasks involved in building a house.  The first thing I learned was digging the footing of a house and laying blocks for the foundation.  I had the distinct opportunity to dig the footing of this house by hand.  What was involved was digging a ditch that was 16″ wide and about 2′ deep per the layout of the house plans.  My boss chose to have this done that day by hand, and not with a backhoe.  I was the one who was appointed to do it.  It was a daunting task, but I got to it and after a while enjoyed the work, and the feeling of accomplishment at the end was great.  At the end of the day the foundation was done and it was ready for what was to come next.

Point #1 – Here is something to think about when we think about our foundation as believers. We need to move to the next part of the house. I was digging a new foundation in a new area for a new house.  I was not building that foundation on another foundation, thus making it a house that looked like foundations.  Hebrews 6:1 says, “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.”  We live in a time where everything is immediate and scripted, and we are very informed.  I believe those things put our faith in boxes that keep us living a fluid faith.  One of the major problems with keeping our faith in those boxes is they restrict us from growing anymore than what you read ABOUT.  We’ll read about the latest quiet times and try that out.  Hear about a revolutionary way of getting money for your church and we try that.  Try the latest self-help method for losing troublesome sin….I’m there.  A lot is done to help us try to “feel” better and “learn” more, but sometimes we are just doing the same things over and over again.  We never progress to a true faith walk that enables us to grow.  I don’t fully know the reason that happens to others, but I do know that to me it is a smoke screen for being scared to grow.  I may be worried that if I draw closer to God He will direct me to do something, or be something I don’t want.  If I don’t experience Him beyond this one area, then I won’t have to worry about that happening.  When I dug the foundation for that house, I didn’t  look at it and walk away.  I started laying out more and more things to build on top of it.  It was the starting point for many more things, and with that being done, I was ready to build more of the house. I didn’t start building without looking at the plans, but I didn’t worry about if I could finish the house either. There is a very important word that is mentioned again and again in scripture that applies here.  The word is”consider.”  The meaning of the word is very important for getting beyond the “digging of the foundation.”  Consider means to think carefully about in order to make a decision, to think or believe, and make allowance for.  Luke 14: 25-30 really illustrates my point very well and brings into focus this “consider” word.  Large crowds had begun to form around Jesus and he begins to share with them His Perfect words of instruction.  He shares that a follower of Jesus must take up his cross and follow Him.  He also says that you must consider the cost and realize that when you start the house, you must finish it.  If you don’t it will be a terrible reflection on who Christ is in your life. Verse 29 -says it well.  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him. 

There it is!  That is the problem that keeps us from growing any further in our faith!  We are considering what all is involved in going any further, so we stop and admire the amount of foundation we have completed.  One thing leads to another and then before long we worship our foundation, but not the God  who wants to build more.  All production comes to a stop…..   What could have been a beautiful house that is a shining light for all to see is nothing more than a foundation.  The stop in production causes all who see it to wonder if a house can really be built at all.  That becomes the standard or foundation for what I call Americanized Christianity.  Nothing new and exciting, but the same ole same ole PIT!

Sounds depressing doesn’t it?  If it stops there it is depressing.  But it doesn’t.  The same God who saved you from the penalty of sins and has the power to change lives. Is the same God who will help you brush off that dirt from that old foundation and make it new and vibrant. How?  If you want to perk up a foundation, build something on it.  A foundation exists to hold weight and handle the building of the rest of the house.  Your foundation is ready for more and more of the house to be added.  When I mentioned the word consider earlier, I shared that it is a very important word.  That word is not mentioned to push us back from following Christ.  It is there to spur us on to greatness and help us realize that we must complete what we started.   In this case, you might want to use the word reconsider now, but the thought is the same.  Reconsider Christ doing a great work in your life. Recommit yourself to His purposes, Relook at your faith and see if you are really building more of the house. Refocus on God doing a new thing in your life.  Before you turn away from this please RECONSIDER!!!  He promises the days ahead will be exciting and new.  Just getting by, will not be an option.  Dust off your foundation, bring out your life plans, pick out some new colors.  This construction site is open again.

Now you can get to the next step, adding block after block to continue building this house.

This is the first step….Tomorrow I will share the next step in this block by block journey.  Today I am going to ask God to show me something new and exciting I can be in my life to keep building my house.  I can’t wait to see what part of the house will be finished next….. Block by Block. The Pilgrimage continues……. David Warren

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