I want to share a poem with you guys that I recently wrote as I was thinking about the quarantine and these trying times we are currently living in. Lately I have had a strong impression that- whatever I'm not doing for Jesus is a waste- and that now is the time to become even more builded and rooted in the love of God and the foundation of His grace. Friends, we have to get serious about our faith and we have to look at the way we are living and ask if we have built something that can stand in the end times. Do we have a faith that is not rocked when things get shaky. What are we building our house in? Day by day we are investing more in something, are we investing in God's kingdom or are we investing in the earthly kingdom?
When it's all stripped way will I worship your name
When it's all stripped away will I adore you
Will my heart be yours, is it died to self?
When it's all stripped way, will your word sustain?
I want to build my house on your holiness Lord
I want to build my house on the rock
So when it's all stripped away still my house will stay
When my house is built on your love
Friends, it is so easy to build on things of this world other than Jesus. It is so easy to cling to temporary things and temporary pleasures, instead of focusing on things of the Kingdom. Even when I know that I want to follow God, and that I want to be investing in these things, too often I find my mind wandering and my actions proving my desires wrong. It is truly a battle between flesh and spirit, the devil and Christ- and I believe that is why it is so difficult for us. Paul writes about the battle within in Romans 7:15 where he says "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate I do." And Galatians 5:17 says "For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you want." It is going to be hard, it is going to be difficult to walk a holy and faith filled life and we have to be prepared for that. We must learn how to: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14
Friends, I just challenge you, as things in your life are stripped away, even the pleasurable and enjoyable, look to Jesus and ask yourself "is this essential"? And choose instead of trying to grasp for those things that are being taken away, or complaining because of them, choose to seek Jesus more. I just pray that we all would shift our eyes from the things this world has to offer us to heaven. That we would be overcomers to sin and temptation in Christ's name, that He would be able to work in us and to help us to build upon the solid foundation of knowing and loving Him.
Just this past week, a tornado hit Chattanooga and some of the surrounding area where I live and many houses were destroyed. It didn't seem like the damage was so real since my house was ok, and I was in a safe place, until that is... I traveled to some of the roads just 15 minutes away and saw the area where the eye of the tornado hit the worst. It was terrible, houses crashed to pieces. People were hurt and sent to the hospital. Places of living were turned to wood. And only the houses with the strongest foundations, stood strong. Many houses came crashing to pieces this week and many people were in chaos, with every material thing they had ever owned stripped away.
Sometimes it's easy friends, to close our eyes to the hurt and suffering around us. It doesn't seem real often until we've seen it for ourselves or experienced it. It can be easy to walk the other way and pretend that the world is still a safe and good place, until we are struck personally by disaster or we meet sickness face to face. Jesus is coming soon friends, we cant' ignore the fact that tragedy and pandemic are around us in the world. We have to make sure we are ready for His second coming. We have to make sure our foundation in Him is strong.
Matthew 7:24-27 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And then the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."