Last week I discussed the difference between tending and toiling when it comes to the work we are doing. Today I want to discuss the difference when it comes to your personal life and your walk with the Lord, and how we are either bricks or stones. Which one are you?
What’s the difference?
I was recently reading Frank Viola’s book on God’s eternal purpose, From Eternity To Here, and he made the statement:
Man builds bricks, God creates stones.”
Now that statement is self explanatory in the basic sense, but let’s unfold it a little more.
- Man makes bricks through his striving, toiling, and working.
- God creates stones with ease.
- A stone is a naturally occurring part of creation, but bricks are mans attempt to do what only God can do.
Bricks, Stones, The Flesh, and The Spirit
As believers we are living stones. We had a heart of stone that has been made living through the anointing and indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood – 1 Peter 2:5
We are living stones to be built together for the Lord. In our surrendering to Him, He molds us and shapes us as He desires and sees fit to make us fit perfectly into His dwelling place.
When we try to strive to please God in our own strength we become bricks. Striving in our own strength and ability is a feeble portrayal of our attempt to please God in our own strength.
In Genesis they used bricks as an attempt to make a tower to heaven.
Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly. And they used brick for stone… – Genesis 11:3
At the Deeper Christian Life Conference I recently attended, Frank Viola made this statement as he dissected Paul’s letter to the Galatians;
This will never do because we cannot live the Christian life through striving, toiling, and trying to meet the Christian expectation.
This is why Paul states in Galatians 2:20;
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
To rephrase this Paul is saying:
I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who makes bricks to please the Lord through my striving, but Christ has made me a living stone by faith in the Son of God.
Our striving to earn God’s approval is the flesh’s attempt to please God. But, we can’t please God in our doing, we please Him in our submitting as stones to His building plans.
So let me ask you, are you seeking God’s approval through your toiling, striving, and works? Are you making bricks to try to get to God like they did in Babel?
Or, are you being a living stone? One who is in submission to the hands of the master builder to be used, fashioned, and molded as He sees fit.
Are you allowing the builder to build you into His house, or trying to build your own house with bricks?