Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Building Spiritual Strength
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
We all watched in horror fourteen years ago when the twin towers fell in New York City as a result of a terrorist attack. Prior to the collapse, the buildings were considered some of the strongest in the world with their reinforced steel beams, solid bedrock foundation, and hundreds of tons of concrete to construct them.
According to Skyscraper.org, Faced with the difficulties of building to unprecedented heights, the engineers employed an innovative structural model: a rigid "hollow tube" of closely spaced steel columns with floor trusses extended across to a central core.
Despite their strength, each tower fell in a rubble due to the weakening of the steel columns by the intense heat of the fire.
As horrifying as that was to watch, the Bible warns of another kind of building collapse. One of our souls. In Ephesians 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul talks about putting “on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” We do that with regular prayer and Bible study. How regular? Paul admonished us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That means prayer is an integral part of a Christian’s life.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). You have to be all in or the attacks by the enemy will find the chinks in your armor. The collapse is often subtle at first, like the Casting Crowns song Slow Fade says, “People never crumble in a day.” The opposite is also true. Spiritual strength isn’t built in a day. There’s no way to counter the blind-side attack when it comes, if our armor isn’t in place. Regular Bible study, prayer, and encouragement of Christian friends keep us battle ready.
Paul experienced challenges far worse than those we face as Christians, yet he remained solid in his beliefs that Christ was his bedrock, his sturdy foundation to withstand the strongest storms, attacks, or devastation that life could assault him with.
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 2 Corinthians 11:23b-27
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
What tremendous reassurance during the difficult trials we often face!
The new World Trade Center is touted as a one-of-a-kind construction with many more safety measures and reinforcement, one of which is its specially designed high-strength concrete. Learn more about the challenge of designing the new towers and building facts by clicking the embedded links.
Do you have a life verse that gives you strength during tough times? I’d love for you to share it.
"A Word of Encouragement." Her devotional, "While I'm Waiting," is available on Amazon.com. She recently participated in the serial "Path to Love," written by fourteen different award-winning, best-selling, and indie authors. It’s available FREE on Amazon.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/LauraHodgesPoole
“Lower Manhattan” image courtesy of James Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
“Bible” image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
“Armour” image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.