(I guess I’m just feeling a little preachy today.)
Psalm 127:1-2 (NASB)
Prosperity Comes from the LORD.
A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Maybe I am just too inexperienced to know what I am talking about, but it seems to make sense that to build any structure, physical or not, there is required a good solid foundation. I have seen guys try to build ministries by throwing bricks up in the air, hoping that the bricks just stay up there on their own, and believing that eventually, with enough brick throwing, they’ll form a building. Is it any surprise then, that while they are bending down to pick up another brick they get smashed in the head with the one they just threw up moments before? This way of doing things is a complete waste of time and effort! So why is it done? Perhaps it’s done because the person building wants instant results, and is too impatient to lay a proper foundation.
I know from my years in construction that of the total time it takes to build an entire structure, laying the foundation often takes up most of that time. The foundation has to be done right, or else the rest of the building will be done wrong. The building itself takes its shape from the foundation. If the foundation isn’t square, the building won’t be either. Impatience is not an option when laying the foundation. The foundation of my life as a Christian and of any ministry I build has to be done right, or not done at all.
So the first layer in my foundation then is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And not some wimpy “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” message either, but rather a “Jesus died for sinners, and He didn’t have to, and you are in serious trouble if you neglect such a salvation” kind of message. The second layer is a good solid theology. Good theology comes from me just reading the Bible and letting the Holy Spirit shape my thoughts and opinions about what is written. Listening to or reading other teachers will then help my theology to mature, but never without me studying the Bible alone with God. The third and final layer is my methodology. How am I going to do what God has called me to do? Depending on what ministry work I do, I will need to decide how I am going to do it. I will have to educate myself on all the finer details about the specific job that I’m going to take on. Once I know enough to get started (I won’t know everything!) then I can start to build a structure that will withstand the attacks this world will throw at it.
My days on this earth are numbered, and I don’t want to waste any effort building on a non-existent, or faulty foundation. This doesn’t mean I have to burn myself out by being a perfectionist; what it means is that I have to trust in God’s timing always. I must never get impatient or frustrated when I think things aren’t progressing as fast as I think they should. I just have to trust and obey God!