You Need A New Perspective

by Jun 16, 2015

You Need A New Perspective

by Jun 16, 2015

There’s an old story of a man who was passing by a large construction site. He asked the workers what they were doing. One of them said, “I’m hauling dirt.” Another said, “I’m cutting stones.” And another one said, “I’m building a cathedral.”

All of them were correct, but only one had the right perspective. You don’t need to be doing something extraordinary in order to build something extraordinary.

That’s what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the church in Colossae and said, “Though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.” (Col 2:5).

I’m imagining what it would be like for Paul to be alive today and he write a letter to our church. What if he said, “I rejoice over you?” That would be pretty exciting, right? This is Paul we’re talking about! You know, the apostle Paul? If I got a letter like that, I would have tears welling up in my eyes.

But, to be honest, I’d also have a small knot in my stomach. Because if Paul wrote to us and said, “I rejoice over your church because of your good order and firmness,” my reaction would be, “Really? Is that really the best you can come up with? … We’re … orderly?”

Give me an endorsement we can put on our website, Paul! Not, “Harbor Church: the most OCD church on Oahu. Come visit us! (just don’t touch anything. especially not the food arrangement).”

Fortunately, the Greek word that’s translated “good order” actually has a different feel to it. Other translations use the word discipline. I would use the word resolve. It’s talking about the way you keep plugging away in your walk with Jesus one step at a time, one day at a time. You keep digging into your Bible and spending time with God in prayer. You keep serving your spouse and shepherding your kids. You keep serving in whatever ministry God’s called you to and gifted you for.

It’s not always exciting. It’s not always comfortable. But you keep at it, because you know that Jesus is in it. You have a firmness of faith, which means you’re firmly rooted in what you’ve received from Christ, as Paul says in the next verse: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith” (Col 2:6-7).

You didn’t just receive Christ. You received everything he has. Everything that belongs to Christ now belongs to you. It’s ridiculous, but it’s true. You have the acceptance and approval of the Father, just like Christ. You have the affection of the Father and immediate access to the Father, just like Christ. You have the protection and providence and care of the Father, just like Christ.

And so as Paul says, when you’re firmly rooted in what you’ve received in Christ, that’s what makes it possible for you to be built up. The new Freedom Tower in New York has foundations that go 200 feet below the streets of Manhattan, and that’s what allows the tower to go 1776 feet up!  Your deep foundation in Christ allows you to become a towering skyscraper bringing glory to Christ. That high-rise goes up one floor at a time, one day at a time, doing the same ordinary things over and over again.

You don’t need to be doing something extraordinary in order to build something extraordinary.