Thursday, January 3, 2013

Authority to Build

We can be tempted to use God given authority to be severe or for demolition but the challenge is to use it creatively to build up.

"For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down." 2 Cor 13:10 ESV

The phrase translated as 'in my use of' can also be translated 'borrow'. Paul went out of his way not to borrow the authority given to him. He determined that writing them was better than losing his temper in person. It is not that the gracious person never gets angry... it is just that they don't enter into sin because of it (see Eph 4:26).

The authority given to us is for construction not destruction. Building requires plans even if those plans are as simple as, 'Everyday I am going to find stones and add them to this pile so that when I have enough I will build something with them.' Simple. Like collecting shells on a beach.

Building requires creativity. Christ is right now creatively building His Church... quietly doing it behind the scenes. From the straightforward task of gathering materials to all the other more complex tasks that require artistry and skill because of great complexity. Christ is working it all out. The perfect foundation has already been laid.

Will we let the sawdust on the floor frustrate us into rash action? Is it right that we should borrow God's tools to smash something because is doesn't look the way we think it should yet? Construction creates scraps and dust and seems disorderly at stages. That is how it works. Fortunately most of that construction is underground and hidden like the forming of the stones for the temple (see 1 Kings 6:7).

We will need more creativity to navigate our going in a house under construction... you can't just come in, hang up your coat and plop down on the couch.

The idea is that someday that is what you want to be able to do. Maybe that is what God wants to be able to do that in us? Perhaps our words will assist in that process in the lives of other people.

Grace builds. It saws, digs, gathers, paints, plasters and polishes something that was planned before the world began. God sees the finished product already.

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