Building our house seemed to take forever. We would come out and have a picnic on the sidewalk each week watching all the machines digging the earth and moving dirt out to lay the foundation. But no matter how hard they worked, at the end of the day the pile of dirt looked about the same.
One of my new favorite verses is Ephesians 2:22, “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Mostly I like it for its verb tense — the present continuous– “are being built.” You are being built, I am being built. We are not finished yet. Some of us are just laying foundation. Some of us are hanging dry wall. And some are decorating and touching up the paint.
Whatever stage, journeying with God is a lifelong process of being built. This one little point that Paul made gives us freedom to forgive ourselves when we are not perfect and hope that someday in Christ we will be the person we were meant to be.
That’s the second key, the passive voice in the passage tells us we are being built in him. What it DOES NOT say is that we are building ourselves. Strangely, trying to build myself into something better has been one of the biggest and most stressful stumbling blocks. But we were never meant to be the architect.
Don’t get me wrong, we still take up our hammer and get to work– but it is not our blueprint. As we live dependently on the Spirit of God to direct our efforts he will build us into what he desires– and you can bet the house he builds will be strong.
Jesus told his disciples, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
Everyday we have to choose to dig out the dirt of ourselves and lay our foundation in Christ if we want to stay standing. Where he tells us to hammer in love, we do. Where he tells us to hang up silence and mercy, we do. When he tells us to dig out bitterness and anger, we do. When he tells us to bring in forgiveness and peace, we do. And where he tells us to lay down trust and joy, we do.
I want my house to stand. I want to lay down the foundation of God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I’m tired of building. I want to be built.