“Crisis always reveal a person’s true character.” - Oswald Chambers
It’s completely normal to start panicking when the house of cards falls down. You were so proud of yourself with all that balance and mad skills of engineering and near catastrophe avoidance. Enough success can make anyone hone their slick moves in the dance of ‘Yay!’.
But when the cards fall and the mess is made, we kick the table and remove our party hats. Back to being a ‘nobody’ and questioning our purpose. It’s the moment of failure when you realize that your faith was in yourself and now you don’t know how to get back to the faith that was pure.
The only pure faith is that which is in Jesus and all He is.
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.-1 Corinthians 3:11
God sends the storm to show you what you’re made of. He does it on purpose. He’s not trying to crush you, He’s trying to show you where you’re looking. If you’re not looking at Him, you need to know it and this is the best way to do it. All He’s trying to do is get you to see Him, to see your need for Jesus, and to get you to stop relying on how good you are at doing what He called you to do. If you’ve been called to do something, thinking you can do it, He’s going to let you know how incapable you are.
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. -Romans 11:32
He makes sure you know what failure is. He does this so you know His mercy. It’s the only way to get you to stop relying on yourself to be who you’re supposed to be.
…it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. -1 Corinthians 3:13
If you’re relying on yourself, then all pieces of ‘you’ that are giving you strength will be burned up. There is nothing like a little dose of humility to keep you strong.
Failure is not proof that you were not or are no longer a Christian. See this is where the revelation of where your faith takes place. Faith in the ability to not fail will be met with the destruction of that faith.
- How do you forgive yourself? See what God is trying to show you.
- How do you ‘love’ the one who failed? See what God is trying to show you and them.
He’s bringing you out of superficial faith in Jesus and making it perfectly clear. Your need for Him and your inadequacy are all revealed while your faith is realigned to where it should be.
If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. -1 Corinthians 3:14
The reward is that you get to keep what was built right. You get to keep what wasn’t false.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” -Jesus in Matthew 7:24-25
The ‘words’ that Jesus is talking about come right before that verse. They are:
- judge the same way you want to be judged (verse 1-2)
- get the chunk of wood out of your own eye so you can see to remove the splinter from someone elses (verse 3-5)
- don’t waist your time on people out for their own gain (verse 6)
- rely on Jesus for what you need to fulfill what He asks (verse 7-11)
- do to others what you want done to you (verse 12)
- get life only from Jesus, not from how great you are (verse 13-14)
- beware of people who preach religion without the grace of Jesus. you know them by their love (verse 15-20 and John 13:34-35)
- be aware that not everybody who claims to know Jesus and does great things in His name are actually known by Him (verse 21-23)
This is what ‘a wise man’ builds his life on. Jesus is the rock. If you build your life of faith on those words, then, when the storms of life come, you will still have something left. That’s your reward.
“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” -Jesus in Matthew 7:26-27
He’s not concerned with pushing you out, He wants you to get it right. He’s going to strum the strings that are out of tune, not to shame you, but to show you where you need some tuning.
If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. -1 Corinthians 3:15
Failure is an out of tune string. How will you know it’s out of tune unless you play it?
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? -1 Corinthians 3:16
He LOVES you! He’s making His home in you. He’s making you able to stand when life tries to knock you down.
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.-1 Corinthians 3:17
He won’t let anyone destroy you. He’ll destroy them first. If you condemn another and destroy their faith you become an enemy to God. Remember, faith is not in self, it is in Jesus. Remind them of Jesus, not themselves.
God is the protector of all He owns, ready to fight for you when you’re under attack.
“Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire.” -Isaiah 27:2-4 NIV
But, He doesn’t want to fight. He wants you ALL. Both the wise and unwise. The attacked and the attacker. God’s love goes far beyond the mistakes of humans.
“Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.” -Isaiah 27:5 NIV
God loves you and because of that, He makes sure that you are not a crippled mess of half-baked religion and misguided faith. Sooner or later, we’ll learn the Truth no matter what we do. Everything is His, everything marked with the stamp of ‘Redemption’. Use your light of faith, your ‘saltiness’ to bring out the God flavors. You belong to Him. Take your lessons and grow into the art of beauty and let love drip from the fruit of your life.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again,”The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether …the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. -1 Corinthians 3:18-23