In my family there are a lot of ‘builders’. My dad was a carpenter as well as several of my brothers and their sons. I can remember many times looking at a piece of land being prepared for construction and watching the foundation being poured and then watching the framework begin. At that stage many people have the ability to visualize the finished project. Not me! To this day I can’t make heads or tails out of construction in the beginning stages, and blueprints don’t help me either. Everything always looks much, much smaller too me in the beginning stages than what it actually is.
From “the” builder’s point of view, I am Painfully Under Construction. I’m looking inside of my own frame work and I’m not fond of what I see. What makes it painful is that I see way too much of me and not nearly enough of God. I see that I let fear and a whole lot of “what if’s” control who I am and what I do. I see me trying to control my path instead of trusting the one who really controls it. It seems too often that my dependence is on me instead of on God.
Painfully I acknowledge my self-sufficiency is pride. Painfully I acknowledge that looking out for me and my desires and my comfort is selfishness. Painfully I acknowledge that apart from God, I can do nothing of eternal value. Painfully I acknowledge that too often I seek to please myself instead of God.
I’m thankful God’s work in me is not complete. I am still a sinner, but I am not a slave to sin. I’m under construction.
Rom 6:16-23 All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing — not caring about others, not caring about God — the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (from THE MESSAGE)
Oswald Chambers wrote – If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.
Even though I can’t visualize me in ‘completeness’ God knows exactly what I will be when I’m no longer “Under Construction.”
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Cor 4:16 NIV