When the house arrived on a large truck bed, it hung over the sides and looked very sad. As they brought it in the driveway, the 20-foot porch across the front came loose and fell off. As the workers brought the rest of this monster into the yard, we wondered if we made a colossal mistake. However, as they moved it into position and set it on the concrete foundation, it fit perfectly—even to the very inch. When we checked out the porch, only two of its 9-10 huge windows had broken. It was gently taken from its landing place in the ditch and put where it belonged. After weeks of remodeling, the house was ready and we moved into it.
The most amazing part of this story is that our helper made and trusted his blueprint. He followed it and it worked. Any practicing engineer knows that this is not always the case. The designer really needs to know what he is doing, and the workers need to trust and follow his design.
Yesterday our pastor preached about the biblical way to build our Christian lives and the Body of Christ. One of his points was that we need to pay attention to what the Master Designer lays out before us and follow His blueprints. These are found in His book, and if we do what He says, our lives will become like the life of Christ. This seems so simple and logical.
Yet sadly, Christians can be tricked into thinking we need more than this. When Paul wrote to the church at Colosse, he warned them about false teaching. Today’s church needs that same warning. Yet even with good teaching other dangers can sneak up on us because they don’t look like a bad thing.
We can also fail to grow because of sin in our lives. Our pastor mentioned worldliness with its focus on this life only, jealousy that basically is a failure to trust God’s care for us, quarreling that comes from our desire to have our own way, and human philosophy that looks good and seems to work. For instance, some churches pick up the idea that growth can come only with marketing gimmicks, ministering to felt needs, and lots of advertising. They grow in size, but size is not necessarily godliness!
Instead, he said that the blueprints for godliness call for a solid foundation—Jesus Christ. Building on Him, we grow through using quality materials such as good teaching, sound preaching, prayer, serving others, meeting together, and working as a team. He also said that we need to build with the Building Inspector in mind, being careful how we build.
Colossians 2:4-9 offers this warning.
Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.For the Body of Christ and for me, faith in Jesus is paramount. Faith is the basis of my relationship with Him, and must also be the basis of everything else that I do. I need to watch out for anything that turns me aside from the reality that Jesus is all that I need. He is my foundation and my blueprint. He is the author and the finisher of my faith, and in Him, I am complete.
Today’s reading in God is Enough says, “You have trusted Him as your dying Savior; now trust Him as your living Savior. Just as much as He came to deliver you from future punishment, He also came to deliver you from present bondage. Just as truly as He came to bear your stripes for you, He has come to live your life for you. You are as utterly powerless in the one case as in the other. You could as easily have got rid of your own sins as you could now secure for yourself practical righteousness. Christ, and Christ only, must do both for you. Your part is simply to give the thing to Him to do, and then believe that He does it.”
In light of that sermon and this reading, all I can say is, “Amen!”