The apostle Peter writes “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple.” (I Pet, 2:5).
I don’t know how you approach Scripture but I approach it with a lot of questions. Questions like: “What does that mean?” or “How does that work?” are common and often launch me into days of meditating on just a few verses. Now I know most of my readership just let out a collective yawn at the thought of what my life must be like. I know, I know jumping out of planes is more fun but you’ll get to hear about that in a week( Tina jumps on the 17th of July so don’t miss my blog on the 18th)! Now first things first!
For those of us who are walking the Christian lifestyle I Peter 2:5 has some essential information about how we must do life. Here are some quick observations.
1. We are not in charge of our lives! The verse does not start with the word you it starts with the word God. So many of us are laboring under the delusion that we are the captain’s of our fate and we get to decide how our lives should go. This one mistake has shipwrecked more people’s faith than I care to count.
My Aunt once told me “The world is your oyster, J. Go out and take the pearl.” So many people think this way particularly in our culture. But this idea came from Shakespeare not the Bible (See the Merry Wives of Windsor). If the world is truly an oyster then it is God’s oyster and He alone decides who gets the pearl.
2. As God is building us as living stones our lives become limited.
My life coach says “Remember every time you say yes to one thing, you say no to another.”
It follows then that when we said yes to Jesus we said no to a lot of other possibilities. Don’t let anyone tell you Christianity doesn’t limit you. It does. Further when you truly put God in charge of your life and He begins His work of building you into a living stone, He begins to make choices concerning your life which lead you on a certain path.
I said the other day that God has made choices for me I wouldn’t necessarily even have thought of myself. By following those choices I closed the door on others and said good-bye to certain things forever. Here’s the thing though, While I may not have thought of those particular choices if left to my own devices, they were the best choices for me. By not second guessing God and following His lead I have ended up with a life bounded by glory and the riches inside those boundaries have proven me blessed indeed.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are days when I look back to my Egypt. The might-have-beens sometimes tug pretty hard on the heartstrings. It’s then I have to look to my many blessings, and as I serve God there are many.
3. Our job is to “live the brick!” I was praying over this particular verse many years ago and the Holy Spirit spoke those very words into my life. I pulled up short and asked Him what that meant.
This is what He said: “You are not the cornestone of my temple. You are not the entire temple either. You are one little brick in the wall of my temple. But if you don’t play the part I have given you, If you don’t do your job, my temple will have a hole in its wall.”
I think this is what Paul was trying to get at in Romans 12 when he said “Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought.” This issue is more devastating than a Christian brother getting to big for his britches. When anyone of us refuses to embrace the life God has chosen for us, because we think we want something else, something “better”, the whole temple faces a weakening in its walls. On a more selfish note we miss out on the opportunity to follow God on what would otherwise have been the greatest adventure our lives could produce.
In that same conversation the Holy Spirit said to me, “If you live in your brick, the boundaries I have chosen for you, and you do it right I promise your life will be more full than you can imagine. I have placed enough in your brick to keep you busy and fulfilled into eternity.”
Christian, this is true to of your life too. We have to stop lamenting the things which are missing in our lives and begin rejoicing that we are part of something great and that within the boundaries of our living stones there are some incredible gifts God has given to us. He has has called these gifts royal, preistly, and peculiar.
I will talk more about that tomorrow.
For now brothers and sisters it’s simply time to “live the brick”.