The Church—-An open structure with a new foundation laid for an enclosed place of Worship.
All of our lives are built on a foundation. The question that must be asked is, “Is my foundation that I’ve built upon, one of truth or one which will deteriorate over time?”
The foundation for the Church we build in Los Hernandez, Nicaragua was in place before we arrived and began to build the rest. This is like our lives. God has already made a firm foundation for us to build upon but He also gives us the choice to do so or not. Some will choose to build upon things they believe are sufficient. However, if it is not from God they will suffer loss. It is so important to accept Jesus as God’s Gift of Salvation. Jesus is the only foundation that will last and His words are secure.
Jesus said that those who built upon the words he gave would have a firm foundation so that when the storms come they will remain. Storms always come.
If they did not build upon His words, then they were doomed to disaster when the storms arrived.
The foundations built in these locations of Niaragua would typically be build to stand a couple feet above ground level. This allows the water to not hurt the building when the rains come and flood the plains.
This is the Church we built for the small community. The Pastor oversees two churches in the area and travels miles on his bicycle with his wife riding on the cross bar so he can serve his people. Part of our team went to the town of Tempelon and built a small home for the pastor. Understand, when I say small we are talking about a structure about 10 X 15 feet. The chapel was about 20 x 30 feet.
Being a person who is in construction,this was hard not to build like I wanted to. It was different to have to do things differently than we would do back in the states. I learned to respect the “Nicaraguan way” of construction and allowing them to make the choices how their building was to be constructed. I learned to follow the direction of those in charge.
So, where is the lesson? The Lesson is one word.
When I set aside “My way” that is Obedience. This shows humility. God says that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Following the direction of those leading the project and doing what was needed gave me the confidence that I was in the center of God’s will.
I am an analyzer in life. When approached about “what my purpose is”…..I WANT to answer that. I want to run after my desires…..BUT what does God want from me? OBEDIENCE!
When I Obey I please God. In Ecclesiastes 12: 13+14 it says, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
It has been said that the Bible is open up for interpretation but some, things are very clear that interpretation is not needed. God requires obedience and humility.
I remember the story of King Saul in the Book of 1 Samuel 15:22 (NASB) 22 Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Saul was given specific instructions and he chose to go against God’s requirement so, he retained what he thought was the best of things he had been instructed to destroy. I have often done this too. I go ahead with something that is important to me and yet God does not want me to do it. I reason that I can just give some of it to Him and He will be pleased. I have even said, “Sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. But……Does this please God? Anytime forgiveness is given there has been a sacrifice on someone’s part for it. I love God for His forgiveness but I don’t need to keep “dipping into the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross” to enjoy it. Here I learn God shows that Obedience is His plan and desire for my best in life.
Being in Nicaragua with the team (including my wife, Tina) from my church was a great experience but the best part was to learn the importance of Obedience.
The Theme verse we had for our Team was Ephesians 6:6, “ not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” (NASB) We wore it on the sleeve of our shirts but I pray we will wear it continually on our hearts.
I obeyed by going, I obeyed in my service.
I thank God for His way, His Word and the trip to Nicaragua. God is Good!
My Path to a better me starts with and leads to God.