As I sat in a final meeting for a leadership role that I have been in serving in during this school year, I was asked the question, “What have you learned and how have you grown this year?” I was overwhelmed by the question because I have learned more than I could have imagined this year. Holding the position I have had has been challenging beyond compare. It has stretched me to the point of burnout and the desire to quit, but it has also brought me incredible amounts of joy and revealed countless ways for me to grow in my relationship with the Lord.
Over these past ten months, the Lord has taught me what it truly looks like to depend on Him. This has not been the sort of role where I can be self-sufficient. It is not the sort of role where I can blindly walk through it hoping that I am doing a good job. I cannot hope to produce fruit when I am not steadfast in my quiet time and pursuit of the Lord.
This season of my life has shown me more than ever how incomplete my view of God is and how my lack of trust in Him has led me to build my life on my own capabilities — news flash, a foundation built on me, fails.
2 Peter 1 talks about the characteristics we are to possess when we are living out our faith:
Goodness – Knowledge – Self-Control – Endurance – Godliness – Brotherly Affection – Love
Whether in life or in ministry, these are qualities with which we must supplement our faith (v. 5-8). While a seemingly admirable task to attempt these things solo, it is utterly foolish. But thanks be to God, we can partake in his divine power, through the knowledge of him, by which he grants us great and many promises. (v. 3-4)
The blessing in this is that when we are steadfast in pursuing the Lord and a life that reflects him, we are kept from being unfruitful and ineffective in our ministry (v. 8). We are able to live lives full of goodness, because we know that our faith should produce fruit (godliness). Our knowledge of the Lord shows us that our lives are ministry. A self-controlled life is a life that is diligent in pursuit of the King and in service of others (brotherly affection). When we are consistent in our faith, we run the race with endurance. At the pinnacle of this is love — it encompasses all.
When we continue to be diligent in our walk of faith, practicing the qualities listed above, our foundation will remain firm and we will not fall (v. 10).
Often times I fall into the pattern of perfectionism, need for control, and desire to be self-sufficient because I do not trust the holy character of God. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah has an encounter with the Lord in which he realizes the true majesty of his Creator. The angels declare that God is “Holy, Holy, Holy,” (v. 3) and Isaiah falls to his knees in worship and repentance. His declaration to the Lord’s calling is “Here I am! Send me!” (v. 8)
When I am living in control, I am living with clenched fists. When I am living declaring “Here I am God, send me,” I am living with palms up, in a posture of surrender. Here, I am building my life on Christ. I must first recognize that he is holy, holy, holy, deserving of all praise and honor, knowing that his plan is perfect and his character is flawless.
So today, I will set my feet on a firm foundation – Christ.
I will choose to build my life upon his promises and his faithful love — I will not be shaken.
I will recognize the perfect, unfailing character of God and rest in the peace that his power is made perfect in my weaknesses and that I do not need to be self-sufficient.
Today, I will build my life on Christ, for he is my only firm foundation.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”