Bricks and mortar can build a house but what makes it a home? We often envision a house as a place for a family, and we make it our own through paint and pictures. God is also building a house, and he is preparing a home in which the blueprint has been drawn up since before the foundations of the world.
My wife and I recently moved and purchased a new home about an hour and a half from where we used to live. This has been part of the whole stepping into new seasons thing I’ve spoken about lately. If you follow me on Instagram you can see some of the progress pics, and those I share as we go.
This is our third house, and the one that has needed the most work. The bones were good and it had a new class IV roof, which was pretty great (especially for insurance purposes!).
The inside on the other hand was outdated, cracked, stained, broken in places, and old. My wife and I, being of the “adventurous spirit,” decided to tackle this remodel on our own. The only thing we have hired out thus far is a little plumbing work to move the laundry location.
I remember the first day we started work. My wife, her parents, and I all walked in and stood there. “Where do we even begin?” The work in front of us was immense. The cleaning alone was going to take quite some time.
Finally, we split up and just began tackling a little here, and a little there. At first it seemed like we were getting nowhere, but finally we are now about three months in, and it seems like we are getting somewhere.
We started with a good cleaning. We fixed cracks from settling and shifting. We textured and painted the walls and ceilings. We replaced light fixtures, updated outlets and switches, and hung some curtains.
We started in our bedroom, moved into the hallway, attacked the dining room, and now we are finishing up the living room. Are we done? By no means, but are you ever really done with a house?
So why am I sharing this with you?
There are two reasons, three to be honest but I’ll get to that in a bit. The first two came about on consecutive days.
The first that spurred this article on was another article I read on 3rdrace.org, and their current series they are doing on the eternal purpose of God.
The other came the day before I read the article. I was sitting on our living room floor doing my best to lay flooring by myself as a complete novice. I was cutting boards to fit together. I was shaping and trimming pieces to fit just right under door jams and around the fireplace.
It was then that the correlation hit me.
I’ve heard messages, watched vides, and read books on God’s eternal purpose, but as I sat there shaping those floorboards it came alive in a new way. This is exactly what God does with us as he is fulfilling his eternal purpose.
God’s Eternal Purpose
Throughout the New Testament we see the allusion to buildings, foundations, workmanship, cornerstones, and so on. This is merely one portion of God’s eternal purpose, but a major portion nonetheless.
You see, you are God’s craftsmanship, His handiwork, His magnum opus if you will (Eph. 2:10), created in Christ Jesus before he laid the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4). This is not for you and I to brag and boast, as if we had any doing in it.
God’s masterpiece is to build a home of living stones for the son and the bride. You and I are those living stones being built together, Jesus being the chief cornerstone.
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood – 1 Peter 2:4-5
The problem of living stones is that they must be shaped and honed, and sometimes those stones don’t understand the honing process.
As I sat there shaping boards to fit on the floor of my living room, I imagined God shaping and honing us, as a master stonemason to fit together perfectly into His house. I’m not talking about a building on a street corner. I’m talking about a spiritual house.
Here is an illustration NT Wright draws out in his work Surprised By Hope on God’s working to build:
The image I often use in trying to explain this strange but important idea is that of the stonemason working on part of a great cathedral. The architect already drew up the plans and passed on instructions to the team of masons as to which stones need carving in what way. The foreman distributes these tasks among the team.
One shapes stones for a particular tower or turret; another carves the delicate pattern that breaks up the otherwise forbidding straight lines; another works on gargoyles or coats of arms; another is making statues of saints, martyrs, kings or queens. They are vaguely aware that the others are getting on with their tasks, and they know, of course, that many other departments are busy about quite different tasks as well.
When they’ve finished with their stones and their statues, they hand them over without necessarily knowing very much about where in the eventual building their work will find its home. They may not have seen the complete architect’s drawing of the whole building with their bit identified in its proper place.
They may not live, either, to see the completed building with their work at last where it belongs. But they trust the architect that the work they have done in following instructions will not be wasted. They are not, themselves, building the cathedral, but they are building for the cathedral, and when the cathedral is complete their work will be enhanced, ennobled, will mean much more than it could have meant as they were chiseling it and shaping it down in the stonemason’s yard. (pages 209-210)
I’m here building an earthly house, desiring to make it a comfortable home to live in. All the while God is working as a craftsman deliberately and patiently building an eternal house that will be a home for the Son and his bride.
My eyes were opened a few years ago to God’s eternal purpose (the third reason), and I have not been the same. That is when this blog was birthed. Every year my eyes are widened, and so is my desire for this purpose.
I pray your eyes will also be opened to God’s eternal purpose to build a house, and make a home. A great resource to get started is From Eternity To Here.