In order to build something of substance, you have to dig deep and stay at it. You have to work with others too. This implies long term commitment, consistency, and a team that works together to accomplish significant goals.
When you set out to build, the focus isn’t on your own personal experience; it’s on the ultimate outcome of the building project. Hopefully, along the way, you’ll have some great experiences, but it’s not about that – it’s about what you’re building and why.
If you reduce the Christian life to your own personal experience of Jesus Christ and being “led by the Spirit,” you are going to miss the heart of God and the purpose of God – because God is a builder and he calls us to build with him. And by the way, if you are truly being “led by the Spirit,” you will be led to participate with others in building the Church, the Body of Christ!
Sometimes, when people say, “I don’t have to be involved in church to be a Christian,” what they mean is, “I don’t need to be committed or consistent or connected with other Christians to be a Christian.” And this is what I mean when I use the term “Spiritual Butterfly.”
Butterflies are colorful, active, fun, and fascinating. I love butterflies. Get a whole group of them together and it can be dazzling! But it’s hard to build anything with a crew of butterflies. They don’t land long in any one place. They don’t dig deep. But let me change my metaphor.
God calls each and every Christian to be a “living stone” in his temple (1 Peter 2:4-5). So maybe I should have titled this article “the brick and the butterfly” instead! But who wants to be a brick instead of a butterfly? Well, maybe. A brick is solid, secure, set in place, connected to others, part of something greater than itself – a grand building perhaps – able to provide shelter, sanctuary, and community for others. And THAT is the purpose and plan of Jesus Christ, who is building our lives together to be his church in a broken world. Awesome!
A brick isn’t as interesting or beautiful as a butterfly – not by itself that is. But connect it to others and build with purpose and soon a great cathedral rises to the glory of God. That is the church, God’s great cathedral of re-claimed lives. I’m so thankful to have a part in it. You too?