Carefully Build the House of the Lord (2)

 

 “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

 

For a period of time, property development in Hong Kong was very active. Real estate transactions mushroomed. Advertising for new projects hawked by media celebrities could be seen everywhere. The atmosphere of speculation in property and real estate deals became feverish, even spreading from Hong Kong to other cities in China such as Shenzhen, Dongguan, Fatshan etc. Unfortunately, the euphoria did not last. When the economic climate changed, many construction projects ground to a halt from lack of capital, unable to continue building and finish up. Lots of “Tattered-tail Houses” were created. Though the causes of these “Tattered-tail Houses” varied, they ultimately boil down to herd mentality in a speculative environment. A radiant beginning, a burst of energy, but no solid and persistent sustaining power leads to construction that can only muster a foundation but cannot finish.

 

Similarly, the spiritual pursuit of many Christians are like those “Tattered-tail Houses”, having a good beginning but lacking persistent, steady progress. During summer camp or revival meetings, Christians exhibit passionate longing. Unfortunately, this pursuit is only influenced by external circumstances, and lack a close and sturdy personal relationship with the Lord. So, when troubles arise, they are unable to stand firm, and cease their endeavor. It is like the parable of the seeds that are sown on rocky places. The man hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But because he has no root in his heart, he lasts only a short time. He falls when he cannot suffer persecution for the Way nor face the test of trials. (Matthew 13:20-21) Brothers and sisters should be careful not to allow your spiritual searching to become “Tattered-tail Houses”, with good beginnings but devoid of persistent motivating force. To prevent this situation, we should daily hold ourselves continually in the Lord, relying on devotion and bible-reading, prayers and worship, meditation on God’s word, and studying of spiritual writings, and in everyday life steadfastly follow the word of the Lord, seek the help of the Holy Spirit, and consistently train ourselves, so that we will not fall away in our spiritual growth.

 

It is estimated that Hong Kong has thousands of dangerous slopes. Through inspection, it has been determined that although most are not in any immediate risk of collapse, they do pose latent perils to surrounding buildings. If no remedial strengthening is done, heavy downpours could bring calamities to structures on these dangerous slopes. Perhaps we still remember the “918 Mudslide” incident when many precious lives and property were whisked away by the collapse of a slope.

 

Many Christians are ignorantly unaware that their spiritual pursuit is in dangerous territory. Not only do they lack understanding of their spiritual condition, they have no inkling of the perilous circumstances they are in. Just like those people living on a dangerous slope, although their building may not be under imminent threat, yet the underlying risk is great. Christians should always research and self-examine their way of life and behavioral standards through the Holy Spirit and the light of the Bible. For example, a family of believers not only does not guard against inappropriate entertainment publications, but leaves them lying around at home so that children can come into contact with them and besmirch their innocent, pure hearts. Or believers hold an open, accepting attitude towards the philosophy of life of irreverent people, so that their own steadfast upholding of the biblical truth is compromised. Or believers establish close partnership relations with unbelievers, to the detriment of their own material worth and conscience. Brothers and sisters in the Lord! Please examine your spiritual life to see if it has been constructed on a dangerous slope!

 

“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’” (Haggai 1:5)

 

By: Daniel To