Not long ago, I was talking to a man in the middle of a Portland Café. He was telling me that Christians don’t need to be part of a church. They just need a heart level relationship with Jesus and to be led by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was leading him to do a series of gatherings for Christian artists who could “cross pollinate” inspiring ideas and creatively express their love for Jesus.
I smiled warmly as we talked, but at some point my smile became more of a clenched jaw. I was troubled. As we walked back to our car, I looked at my wife and said, “That guy is a spiritual butterfly. Butterflies are beautiful, but they don’t build anything. I want to be builder.”
That’s how I got the idea of the builder and the butterfly. Let me unpack it just a bit.
God is a builder. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This is the first truth of the Bible. God builds. God forms; fashions; sets; divides; structures; assigns; defines; and blesses. Read Genesis 1 and see.
Then God created mankind in his own image. That means we are supposed to be builders too.
So how do you see yourself? Are you a builder? What are you building?
God is building his church. The church is his main project. He works at this with great passion. The Book of Ephesians lays it all out. Read it and see. Watch for all the references to the church – sometimes called the Body of Christ, the living temple, or the Bride of Christ. Spend some time with Ephesians 2:19-22.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Eph 2:19-22 ESV)
There’s a lot of construction language in these verses: “built;” “foundation;” “cornerstone;” “structure;” “joined together;” “temple;” “being built together.” This is God’s building project – the church. God is at work, right here, right now, building something amazing! God loves his church with his whole heart and he wants us to love it too. He wants us to join him in the work of building his church.
So what about you? Are you a builder? Are you joining God’s work of building his church?
If not, what’s the alternative? Is there something more pressing? More exciting?
Next post: The builder and the butterfly part two.