Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Study Time . . . I Corinthians

Mixing things up today because I haven't read any books this week other than my own, and I'm not narcissistic enough to talk about my own story on Tuesdays, when I'm supposed to talk about other people's. =) So . . . today we're going to take a look at some verses that my hubby had us read in church this weekend.

I Corinthians 3:12-15
Now if anyone builds on this foundation [of Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.

If anyone's work which he had built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; he he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Our church is preparing for a prayer vigil to ask for direction for the church as a whole, as well as bring our individual petitions before the Lord. This struck us as an amazing section for the church . . . and I keep thinking about it for me too.

All of us are building upon our faith with every action. Most of the time, our intentions are good. But if we're following our plan instead of the Lord's, chances are we're layering on our faith with straw, wood, or hay. When the fires come, all that hard work is going to vanish. On the other hand, if we do God's will for us, build according to His instruction, then the fire will temper us, harden us, remove our impurities and make us better.

I also love that final verse--if we've built according to our own desires instead of God's, if our works don't properly show our faith or are just misguided, it doesn't mean God casts us out. It doesn't mean we lose our salvation. Because that is Christ, and Christ can't be destroyed by our piddly efforts. We're still saved . . . we just probably feel pretty frustrated that we wasted all that effort.

It really hammers home for me the importance of seeking God's will before I do anything--and then LISTENING. That's the hard part, eh? Stopping to actually get that guidance we request.

When it comes to my writing, God directs me with clicks. When an idea doesn't click for me, I give up on it or push it aside for a while. When I'm praying about what story to write, or how to write it, I know I've found God's will for it when inspiration that can only be divine starts pouring into my mind. But it's also really comforting to know that if I keep pushing through the wrong work, God might shake His head (metaphorically speaking of course) and might send a little fire to show me the truth, but He still loves me. He still holds me in His hand.

Sometimes though, He has to clear away the rabble to reveal that strong foundation. How else are we to build the building that He ordains?

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