I have a fascination with small houses. A fascination that is tempered with memories of living in a small house. It is funny how even things that I’ve lived through can be romanticized to the point where they draw me back in. I know better. I know the truth of the situation. I wouldn’t like it for more than a week – then I would be longing to have my full sized house back! Yet there is still a part of me that says, “Yeah but wouldn’t that simple life be wonderful!”
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-16 ESV)
Oh how easily we can be tossed about by each new wave of our culture. When we spend time focusing on the world we start longing for the things of the world. But when we keep our focus on God, we will long for the things of God. He knows this about us. He created us. He has warned us about staying focused on the good that He longs for us to walk in.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
Guess what? Do you know what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of our praise? God is! We are to put these things into practice. Do you know why? Because we are naturally terrible at them! We need to practice holiness, focus, forgiveness, steadfastness. It is with God’s help through His Holy Spirit that we can achieve these things. But we must work with Him to allow Him to change us!
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)
He is trying to equip you for the work of ministry to build up the body of Christ – the church!
He wants us to mature in our walks. He desires that we don’t stay at the same infancy level requiring constant care and easily digested milk. He has good work for us to do. He has a depth of word to plant within our hearts to bring glory to His name. He doesn’t want us to be tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, human cunning, craftiness, and deceitful schemes.
Speak the truth in love. Let us build up the body of Christ in love. We have work to do beloved. Be content with where God has planted you today. Focus on Him and work with the Holy Spirit within You to accomplish all that He has planned for you to do. He will equip you for every good work. Recognized deceit quickly and turn to the truth. Don’t be swept away and tossed about. Stand firm. Take up your cross. Follow Jesus.
Practice the spiritual disciplines to be strengthened in your faith. Read the word daily, pray, memorize scripture, fast, have frequent fellowship with other mature believers, invest in someone coming along behind you – help them build their faith, seek God’s will, walk humbly with Him each day. Stay teachable. Stay the course. Be obedient to His call on your life. Fulfill your ministry! Be encouraged. Press on.