Everyday Encounter with God

Pastor Sylvia's Encounters with God in the Midst of Everyday Life


The Wise Builder

A couple times a week Husband and I drive down Rigney Road on the way to the grocery store. We pass by a large parcel of land that used to be a horse pasture. Then heavy equipment moved in. Two falling-down barns were demolished. The sod was torn up. Trees came down. The beautiful meadow was transformed into mounds of dirt.

What was going on?

In Matthew’s gospel Jesus used house-building as an analogy for following his direction in life.  He basically said, “Let me be your foundation or risk losing everything that matters.”

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock… But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Matt 7:24, 27)

Scripture repeatedly tells us that as Christians, Jesus is the only foundation that is permanent, safe, and eternally secure. There are three steps to building on him: accept, adapt, and abide in the Word of God.

First we must listen. Scripture and the Holy Spirit dependably tell us what we are to do.

Husband and I don’t know the intent for Rigney Road’s big project. But we’re certain that a variety of contractors have developed plans and communicated them to the workmen.

It’s the same with Christians. We don’t need to know the plans for every building project in town. Your plans are different than my plans. But each of us does need to listen to God—our architect—and accept the unique plan He intends for our lives.  

Next, wise builders must adapt to the plan. It does us no good if we hear what God wants us to do, and then we refuse to make life changes.

After the contractors on Rigney Road were told what the architect’s design is, it’s their job to adapt the land to the plan. Last week they dug a huge hole in one spot. A future swimming pool? Basement parking for an apartment complex? Did they already know that a few feet down they’d reach the water table?  

For Christians, adaptation is called sanctification. We deliberately mature in our faith. It’s the process through which God changes us, molds us, and forms us.

It is perplexing to see so much work and so little visible change to the Rigney Project. Adapting land—like developing character-- takes time and persistence. Sometimes when others watch it looks like things aren’t progressing at all.

Husband thinks they’re putting in sewer lines.

The final step in foundation building is to abide. We must allow Jesus to live in us and through us on a daily basis. It is the total sustained surrender of who we are, what we want,  and  our rebellious will to do things our way because—let’s face it—we have really good ideas too. Don’t we all sometimes want to turn the wrong way even though experience tells us it dead-ends in two blocks?

What kind of outcome would there be on Rigney Road if each workman decided to do it his way on any given day? Even Jesus prayed on his last evening, “Father - not my will, but Yours be done.”

The wise builder accepts, adapts, abides, and as a result not only is he blessed beyond measure...his work glorifies the architect of his life: God.

Periodically we all need to inspect our foundation. Does it fit the architect’s specs? Or is it time to move more securely onto the solid rock?