As a child I loved going to my friend John’s house. He had the largest collection of Lego I have ever seen. His entire attic was full of it and he had created a whole Lego village. I loved to play with it, but I also knew that my building skills were nothing compared to his. It would amaze me that he could take a pile of bricks, which looked so insignificant as they lay there in a heap, and turn them into an amazing creation.
In the same way, God is building us together into something amazing- his spiritual temple- the place where his presence is known and where he is worshipped.
As well as being part of the building, we’re also called to be builders- to build his kingdom- to build something new and to rebuild what is broken:
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them though they have been deserted for many generations.” (Isaiah 61:4)
But we need to be sure we’re building properly: “On the judgement day the fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” (1 Corinthians 3:13)
No matter how good my friend’s creations were, there were never built to last. When he moved from that house the entire Lego village had to be dismantled and destroyed. But in building God’s Kingdom, I want to build something that will last.
So how can we do that?
The foundation must be Jesus. It’s the only way to be secure. If we are building on anything else, it will be shaky and won’t withstand the storm.
We have to work together. When Nehemiah led the people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, each of them had their own section of the wall to work on and everyone had to play their part. Everyone’s contribution was necessary for the work to succeed.
We have to guard against the enemy who wants to stop the building work. We can see this in Nehemiah’s story too. The people had to support one another and pull together against the attack of the enemy. As well as building they had to guard and pray. For us too, there is opposition to the building.
We need to make sure we are building God’s Kingdom, not our own. The tower of Babel was doomed to failure because the people built it as a monument to their own greatness. It seems that they were well-organised and working together but their motivation was wrong.
We need to do it in God’s strength and under his direction. “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.” (Psalm 127:1) The building is his work. We are fortunate that we get to be a part of it but we have to trust in him and follow his lead, and if we do he can use us, and we can be part of building something that will last.