Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Spiritual Houses

North Carolina is a fast growing state. Everyday it seems like more and more people are moving here from just about everywhere. When my husband and I moved to the area we live in now there was more country and farmlands than towns. Now, our small town has become a bustling city with subdivisions galore. More and more homes are being built and progress has overtaken our quaint little town.   
One of the things that I have noticed is how fast they build these homes today. One month they have a foundation laid, and the frame built. By the next month they have the roof on, the walls done and the for sale sign placed out front. This has made me question the stability of these homes. I wonder how many shortcuts were taken to produce these massive homes so quickly. Surely corners were cut and sacrifices had to have been made. Nothing done that quickly could possibly last a lifetime.  
The Bible teaches us that we too are houses being built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. As I was pondering on this truth, I started to ask myself if there were any corners I was cutting, or have cut as well as any sacrifices I have willingly made in regards to my spiritual home. I wanted to know if my house was going to last a lifetime.  
"As you come to Him, a living stone, rejected my men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5-6 ESV 
Our spiritual houses are to be replica's of Christ's house. The one He lived in while He was on the earth. He walked the walk and He talked the talk, giving us a blueprint for what our houses should look like each and every day. But is it possible for us as Christians to take shortcuts or to cut corners along the way? I believe we can, and I believe we do.  
For me, personally, I find that excuses seem to be the number one cause for me to cut corners in the building of my spiritual house. I find every excuse in the book and under the sun not to step out in faith when He is urging me forward. I find every excuse I can not to sacrifice that one thing in my life that I know is hindering me and keeping Him from being able to build me stronger. My biggest excuse and my largest stumbling block is the television. I will find just about every excuse I can to sit and watch hours of TV instead of turning it off and tuning into His Word and His Presence. The corners I cut are the excuses I give for not being obedient. Plain and simple. Disobedience is the downfall of every house.  
One of the lessons I believe the Lord wants me to learn while He continues to build my house, is that to have a solid home, certain sacrifices must be made to ensure its stability. You would not use low grade materials and expect the home to last 100 years. So why do we continue to allow low grade attitudes and low grade materials into our homes? The more excuses I give the more corners I cut, the more likely I will be to stumble and crumble when the big storms come.  
Peter tells us that we are living stones, being built into a bigger stone. We are little houses being built together to make one really big city. But, if we cut corners and fail to make the necessary sacrifices then our homes are going to fall down.  
I am pretty sure that as you are reading these words there are specific areas of your life that God has already asked you to put down, lay down and walk away from. He wants to continue building, but you are trying to sneak in low grade materials and that is hindering His work. If you are like me, you have been cutting corners and making excuses instead of just being obedient.  
"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV 
Peter urges us to put away all those excuses and all those things that we know are hindering us, and hindering our God. You and I must, if we desire to have a complete house, solid and firm, able to withstand even the most violent of storms, we must be willing to make sacrifices and stop cutting corners with our excuses. God wants to use us to our fullest and greatest. He wants to build each one of us into glorious mansions for His namesake. We just have to be willing to let Him build us. Amen?