It’s no coincidence that Jesus is a carpenter. He knows how to build a solid structure, and you are his main project. Isn’t it great to know that you have been built by the hands of a master craftsman? And, not only has he built us as individuals, but he is building each of us together into one solid Church.
When the temple of Solomon was built, artisans cut stone from the mountain. Then each stone was hauled to the building site and fit exactly into place. Like those stones, we have been shaped to fit perfectly into God’s kingdom.
And while God can certainly use you in other areas, the center of activity for your spiritual growth is the local church. Here, we gain wisdom and encouragement as we interact. And as we serve each other, we’re serving Jesus himself. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” As we cooperate with His blueprint, Jesus’s craftsmanship will be easy to see throughout our lives.
But while God’s plan is to build us up, the devil’s plan is to tear us down. Sometimes he even uses unwitting Christians to do so. Someone disappoints us, we take up an offense, and we’re tempted to give up and walk away from church altogether. It makes complete sense that the enemy would focus on breaking down the strength of the local church. Lone animals are prime targets for predators. Don’t play along.
Have you been hurt in church? If so, you are in good company. The late Pastor John Osteen said,
“Church is not a museum for the perfect; it’s a hospital for the broken.”
Broken people don’t always have the emotional maturity you think they should. Each of us is flawed in some way. We know we need God, and that’s why we come to church. The beauty is that God can use these relationships, even the challenging ones, to teach us to give and receive love, even when it’s not deserved. In this way, God rebuilds, repairs and restores what the enemy has torn. Since God’s love has covered a multitude of our sins, and that same love is now poured into the heart of every believer, we can extend that same forgiveness to others. We can look past the faults to find the treasure. At our strongest, we can even bring out and grow the giftings of others.
Of course, there will be hiccups as people from different backgrounds mature together. Instead of complaining, try edifying and exhorting. Be careful to listen to the Word and apply it to yourself instead of hearing the Word through the lens of condemning others around you. Deal with little problems honestly before they grow. Trust God. Trust your pastor.
Ephesians 4 says, “Strive to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” God’s plan is to build you, with expert craftsmanship, into a solid structure within his kingdom. And as part of the process of our being built, we are carefully joined together in him, “becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:21)
When you focus on building God’s Kingdom, you’ll be amazed to see how beautifully He’ll build yours at the same time.