9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.1 Corinthians 3:9-15
What do you hear when you read it?
I had to read it twice. Go back and read it again, because I want the Word to do what I know the Word always does when we give it a place – it speaks.
I love this chapter from 1 Corinthians, because it’s multi-functional and serves different purposes. I’ve intentionally started from verse 9 because I want you to grab something. Have you re-read it?
One of the consistent images throughout the Bible is one of God as a Builder, wanting to fashion us into His masterpiece.
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.Hebrews 3:4
Later in the the 11th chapter of the same book, the writer says that Abraham was “looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.“
We have allegories all over the Bible, and I have come to find that Our Masterbuilder also refines us in our Single Seasons or times of waiting and/or dating.
They say that this is the season to discover yourself right?
To forget Bae and to work on Maeeee.
Sorry, I had to lol.
To grow, to develop, to transform?
Well those are all really good things.
We should be doing.
Serving in the ministry.
Offering alms to those less fortunate.
Making sacrifices for those around us.
Showing kindness to those we meet.
And I am sure many of us have been doing that. If you are anything like me, your newfound single status has meant that you can throw yourself back into self-development, join a new Fellowship, finish off that book you were writing and apply yourself to Ministry.
And those are great things, don’t get me wrong – but those things are going to be passed through a fire.
Everything we do in life is going to be tested by fire, because fire comes to test us and show us what we are really made of.
So Bro/Sis, single season matters. The actions we take during this season matters. The things you do whilst you are single absolutely matter. As in, the motivation is important.
If we are serving to be seen, we’ve missed it.
If we are witnessing to gain recognition, we’ve missed it.
If we are joining ministries to build our own following, we have lost it completely.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Every year I take a holiday for a few weeks, max one month, and whenever I return, I usually find that a new building has been erected in my area. Now unbeknownst to me, the people building were laying the foundations waaaaaaaaay before my trip, but on return, I have the benefit of watching the rest of the construction go up. And it’s always beautiful to behold.
Spoiler Alert: Some of us are doing the very opposite.
It’s crazy to think that some of us think we have laid a good, solid foundation, but actually, we breezed through the foundation stage and just started putting up walls, fixing windows and measuring the drapes. It’s even madder to think that some of us think we’re using gold and silver to construct a palace but really we’ve been relying on hay and stubble to erect mini-thrones.
Yeah, this is a check guys.
I am checking you the same way I had to check myself in prayer this morning.
It has to be about God, it just has to be. And I am saying that as much to myself as to the person reading this. The only way things pass the fire test is if it’s not about us. I want the things we are building to pass because they are predicated on Him. Is it?
Think about it. The things you spend your time on. The work, the business, the activities – some church-related, others just aspects of our lives – is any of that going to pass through the fire and remain?
As I said, I am speaking to myself and not even in the third person – this Blog has to pass. I don’t want it to be a mini-throne, or a elevation platform for my flesh to continue to enjoy flashbacks to days long past. Nah, that won’t wash. It can’t just be a gratuitous activity on a Friday night
, because trusttttt meeeeee, I know plenty of gratuitous activities for a Friday night. Can we talkkkkk.
This has to pass the test.
It has to be more.
The journey must mean more, because the moment this stops being about the journey, I quit. No bye-byes, no farewell, no overlong and overblown tripling – just ctrl+alt+del. Log off and goodnight.
I am being oh so real right now, because this is how I had to deal with my flesh this morning in order to ascertain my motivation for doing some of the things I do, and I am way too many blogs in to give you pretense. Nah boo.
Try as we may, we will never really understand man’s motivations this side of eternity (trust me, I have prayed and asked, but some things stay unrevealed) but the very least we can do is come to terms with our own.
Check your motives and check your heart.
Ask yourself, “when I pass through the fire, what will remain?“
My service, my deeds, the good I thought to do to others, the good I thought to do for God, what will actually last?
Not gonna lie, if you have never thought about this, or had this as an internal conversation in your heart, you should probably jump off my blog and jump back into Hebrews. No shade whatsoever, just plain tidbits.
Because I say all of this as a microcosm of a bigger conversation. Every single thing is going to be revealed by fire, and today, we may not even fully get why we are doing the things we are doing, but when the fire comes, it will be as clear as crystal.
Paul advised the church at Corinth “let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon“, because you need to watch what you are working with and on.
Whilst you are single, build well.
Whilst you are young, build well.
Whilst you are maturing in faith build well.
I know that we are all on different journeys in regards to relationships, but for those who are single, I want to encourage you to build well. Singleness doesn’t have to be a period to wish away. It can be, and should be a time of real growth and purification if only we would allow ourselves that space. The truth is fire comes to make visible that which was dark. It exposes the truth and purifies the heart.
And, lest we forget, the part I have chosen to leave until last is that there is going to be a reward. For us as Believers, on that fateful day when our work is tried, we will receive a reward if we are able to pass through that fire. Isn’t that encouraging? Don’t take my word for it, take the Word for it at verse 14…
So if you are going through a difficult period (whether that is temptations during your singleness) or are being tested by a difficult situation (through a trial generally in life), don’t lose heart. The fire is meant to help us, not hurt us, so don’t shut yourself to that truth, rather ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in every situation.
Rest assured, we will all pass through the fire – I just hope that we are content with what comes out of it….
The journey continues….