We have been working on the church site since late winter 2015. It was hard to “see” what the site could and would become at that time. I have noticed that most people are challenged with translating what is on a paper drawing like a building blue print to reality. The same is often true for the follower of Jesus Christ in translating God’s Word from the pages of the Bible into reality in our lives today.
This morning I was standing looking over the completed concrete foundation for the Worship build which is scheduled to be delivered this week on Friday. We have spent almost six years working on the site from conception to design to implementation. The early stages were challenging as we walking into the unknown in almost all areas of the project. We soon realized that each step developed the reality of what the Lord was unfolding. A regular question from our people and others was, “When will you get your building?” It was a question that was difficult to answer because the finish line was nowhere in sight. The truth is we are walking by faith. It is challenging to walk by faith because it requires us to take it step by step with only an incomplete picture of the final result.
I am reminded of the reality of faith from Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith boils down to trust and obedience for the follower of Jesus. The first phrase “assurance of faith” translates a word that refers to a title deed, a legal document showing the transfer of property. The day I signed to purchase the property in the Spring of 2015 the land become our church’s property. We owned it. The usage in Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that God’s promises to us are just as sure, even though they have not yet been realized, as holding a legal deed of ownership. Our assurance on God’s promises is God himself. This produces in us a “conviction of things not seen.”
Our property project is a living illustration for us for our spiritual faith. The purchase of land, the plans and the steps that we have taken were for an uncertain future reality of a church home. We did not have control or know exactly what would really happen. Yet, we did have hope that one day it would happen. It was that hope that encouraged us and motivated us to keep moving forward, especially when progress was slow. We as followers of Jesus are called to embrace God’s plan for our lives, our church and our world. He has revealed His blueprint to us in His word. The difference between our project and God’s plan is that His is guaranteed to happen.
It is an exciting time for our church as we are seeing the plans become reality. The Apostle Paul reminds us that our ability to conceive the future is limited by our current condition. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) But, just like our plan there is a day coming when it will become a reality!
Let me encourage you to press into the Lord in your personal walk and in ministry during these uncertain times. We are a people of not a wishful hope, but of a certain hope based on the Lord Himself. The step by step actions in our lives even when we do not see much progress will bring us to the time of realization of all the Lord’s promises in the days ahead!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson