Still Under Construction…

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

By:  Mollie Eichman, Director of Communications at Ablaze Church

 
The other day, I was driving to our new church building and I began reminiscing of the process it took to even begin building the church. I remember times where we would talk about this or that regarding the church – making plans for “preparation”, but we had not even broken ground yet – it was an overgrown field with no site of our future church home. I can remember thinking at times, “Is this ever going to happen?”. This obviously led me to begin thinking about times in my life where I’ve been personally in this same place – waiting for something to take place, but feeling like I was playing a waiting game that was never going to end.

I began thinking about each stage of the building process and realized how much it correlates with our own personal lives. There were a couple phases that really stood out to me that I thought I would highlight:

  • Securing the Land:  Before we could even begin building, we had to secure the land. That means that we had to take action. Without land, nothing could begin. In our own lives, in order to move toward a dream, we must secure the land or in other words, take ownership of the promise.   One way I think about taking ownership of a promise is by realizing that God has something good for me and believing it. In Joshua 1:3, it says, “I will give you every place where you set your foot.”   I believe that He is saying, you must take a step but once you take that step, I will secure the land for you. Just as we had to secure the land in the building process, in our own lives, we must secure the land if we are going to move forward. Taking that step is believing, or having faith, that God’s promises are for you! It takes action & purpose to do this.   Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see secured it by taking that step that God has a plan! Just as God provided the means for us to secure the land, we can be confident that He will secure our step and help us secure the land “or promises of God”.
  • Blueprints: Blueprints are a plan. They guide us in every step of the building process. Without blueprints, the building process would not have happened. Every contractor that participates in the building process must have knowledge of the blueprints to be able to do “their part”. Just like in a building process, we must have a blueprint for our lives that God has given us. God’s Word is our Blueprints. In Psalm 119:105, it says, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” His Word will guide us in every process we go through. If we don’t know how to do something, God’s Word can give us insight and light the direction we are to go. But beyond that, did you know that God says that the plans that He has for our lives are good and not for evil; to give us a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). When we believe this promise; that God has something good for our lives, we can trust that the blueprints for our life are good! They provide us with a future and give us hope for what is to come. That’s the best NEWS! We don’t have to wander aimlessly! There is already a blueprint drawn out for us! It’s just a matter of trusting the architect.
  • Laying a Solid Foundation: After securing the land, in order to have a lasting domain, a solid foundation must be laid. You must lay your foundation on a certain soil that is strong or you could have problems in the future. After you have poured the foundation, you must let it dry fully or “cure”. Not doing this, your concrete could get cracks in it and you could have MAJOR issues down the road.   In life, not having a solid foundation can impact our lives. Jesus tells the parable in Matthew 7:24-27 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” In our personal lives, the foundation is Jesus. He is the solid rock that we MUST build our lives upon. Without Jesus in every area of our lives, when trials come – our foundation being weak and cracked – the trials and unpredictability of life will bring destruction to us. Jesus is the only foundation. Having a solid foundation is critical.   The beauty of Jesus being our solid foundation is that He promises He won’t ever leave us or forsake us. Even when the going gets tough, Jesus will always remain.
  • The Construction Phase: This seemed like the longest process EVER. But during this process, the “guts” of the church were constructed. Although you don’t see much of the “guts” after completion, without this phase, nothing would work the way it is intended to. Each phase follows another step, and that phase follows another step, which finally leads you to the finishing touches. In my own life, I like to think of this as the “heart” phase. This is the time that God works on your heart, preparing you for the finished product. Sometimes there are not so comfortable issues that arise that must be taken care of or it could detour the project. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” When God calls you to something, He completes it – not ½ way, but fully. Trust him in this process, although sometimes very uncomfortable, a necessity to get you to where you need to be. Sometimes this phase can be painful or stretching, but during this time, when your eyes are on the Lord, true beauty comes from the final product. Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” I take such comfort in this verse to know that I don’t have to rely on my own understanding, that God will give me the wisdom that I need.

As I was thinking about the different phases of the building process, I found it so very interesting that the most critical times were when the church was not “pretty”. We had to trust the process or blueprints. Just as in life, we must trust the “blueprints” or God’s Word to lead us. But what this also reminded me was that God wants to give us life abundantly. He wants us to live life to the fullest (John 10:10).   It doesn’t matter your age, where you have been, what you have done, God has a blueprint for your life. He has land that He desires you to secure. But you have to be willing to take that step of faith.

We are now in the final stretch of construction putting the final details in place and will move into the building in a couple weeks.  God took us through a process that began as a dream. But soon, the classrooms will be filled with little children during the day learning about the love of Jesus and on weekends, families will gather to hear the Word of God. None of this would have happened without God in the midst!

Maybe you are asking yourself right now “There has to be something more to this life.” I have good news for you! God is that “something more”. Wherever you are at in the process of life, know that God loves you and cares about every detail that concerns you. Maybe having God be your foundation is a completely new concept to you. You have always done everything on your own. I have exciting news for you – you don’t have to any longer! And even better yet, God has amazing plans for your life!   With God, EVERYTHING is better!