1389. Be Careful How You Build

Unless we build on the right foundation, our efforts will be in vain.

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

Nineveh walls

If you read through the passages describing the construction of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6&7; 2 Chron. 3&4), it’s hard not to be impressed with its apparent permanence. Behind all the cedar covered with gold was a base of stone. That’s about as permanent as you can get. Yet, today there’s nothing left. Then there are the massive stone walls of Babylon…also gone. God has a way of destroying things man has built, through wars and weather. Even though Solomon had pleased God with the Temple he built, the wisest man in the world allowed sin to cloud his judgment, resulting in some stupid decisions. Despite God’s warning against multiplying horses, wives and riches (Deut. 17: 16-17), he did all three. Today, it’s all gone (1 Kings 9:4-9). History is replete with similar examples.

AS I SEE IT

In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he warned the believers there not to build on any foundation other that which he had laid for them—Christ Himself (1 Cor. 3: 10-15). We should heed his warning. In our day it’s easy to lay a foundation other than Christ and it all depends on our motives. While the world says “follow your heart,” the Bible warns us that our hearts are desperately wicked and can’t be trusted. Our best course is to cultivate a relationship with God that is so close that we hear His voice all the time. Our biggest problem is usually ourselves, and God has orchestrated the trials we face to open our eyes to our own helplessness. We must be brought to the place where we are finally convinced that we actually have nothing to offer.

Only then will we build on Christ’s foundation. Until we are brought to the end of ourselves, we will continue to dream up things we think will please God. Actually, we are choosing the things that will please us as we demonstrate to God how capable we are so He will bless us for what we have “built.” Only when Christ is our foundation, will He complete the work He began. He will do the work through us, using the gifts and abilities He gave to us. We will do the physical work as no one else can, but the plans are His as is the power to complete the “project.” We are merely the vessels He uses to complete His work.

Considering all that is happening all over the world and especially in our own nation, there’s no room for error as we carry on our Lord’s work. We must make sure we are always in the center of God’s will so we don’t finish our race like Solomon. We must constantly check our motives so we can discern what’s really driving us. Too often, it’s our flesh, so we must forsake this “enemy within” and commit ourselves to walk in the Spirit every moment of every day. Then we can be certain that everything we “build” is laid on the foundation of Christ. Only then can we rest assured that our work will not be burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Be careful how you build.

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