Revering the House of God
I was reading this morning in Genesis, where Jacob has his dream about the angels ascending and descending—the passage that Jesus himself references when he meets Nathanael. Jacob says, “What an awesome place this is.” It says that he was afraid when he realized that that place was the house of God. And I want to see that every time I am together with God’s people: in big situations, in small situations, to say, “This is the House of God, and it’s an awesome place.” I want to revere it that way.
Yesterday at McDonald’s, we’re all sitting there together. Am I just here to eat, like I said before? Am I just here to be social? Or is this an awesome place because these men have the Holy Spirit of God living in them? This is the House of God on this planet. And I want to walk in a reverence and a fear—if you can use that word—of just how serious it is, and of what God has placed into our hands as an inheritance.
The reverence will cause us to not be casual in the slightest. I was thinking of that song, “To come into the presence of the Lord is to be changed.” We sing that song, but that is what each of those events that we have are. Again, carpooling to work together, lunches together, working together on studies, working together on projects—those are the opportunities where we are coming into the presence of the Lord. We are in the House of God in those scenarios, and those are opportunities for change.
I was thinking about all of these guys going up for a multi-month construction project. That was a LOT of work. I’m sure at the beginning, there was a certain fun to it. “Wow, we’re tearing down things and rebuilding things and all that!” But over the course of time, it was like, “Okay, we’re going another weekend and another weekend, and we’re spending all day sanding.” Building a House of God is going to require an effort, a steadfastness, a perseverance, and a diligence that exceeds that, I’m sure, by tenfold. You guys who participated in that, you know how hard it was. But we can’t grow weary in well doing. We can’t back down from the work.
He’s given us everything that pertains to life and godliness, and He so much deserves to have a return on that investment. It’s just not always going to feel like a barrel of laughs and a ton of fun. It’s going to be blood, sweat, and tears for people. I really do feel like even as I’ve been talking here, I’m talking way outside of anything I’ve even really experienced. I feel like I’m pathetic in terms of being a spiritual father. But the fathers who I have seen function in our midst, that’s what I see. I see blood, sweat, and tears. The hand to hand, the eye to eye, the mouth to mouth. That’s what I’ve seen. But what I’m also seeing is that there’s just no reason that at the end of the next twenty years, that we shouldn’t have young men in our number here. There’s just no reason. I refuse to hide behind excuses of giftedness or God’s timing. If we don’t become who He’s empowered us to become, it’s sheer laziness and rebellion.
It’s expensive. It is death to flesh. And I think the flesh a lot of times has won. But we just can’t let it. I know that our hearts here are to give Jesus all that He deserves, but it’s going to take some very decisive, practical changes of breaking the traditions. And I say that in the sense that it’s easy for myself to live in a traditional way where I function in habits that aren’t Godly habits. Those are traditions that keep me from really functioning in the fullness of Jesus, and we all really need to seriously consider what those things are.
This doesn’t end today when we leave here. These are conversations that we can continue moving forward. What are some of the very practical things that we can be doing differently as we move forward to be different? Take every day very seriously as an opportunity for change and for growth and for moving on to the fullness that Jesus has in store for us.