Romans 4:14-16 (NASB)
“For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the Father of us all.”
Building a house is not as straightforward as one might think. From the materials to the labor to the tools to the finishes and the coordination of all these things takes some real planning; but with every single structure that we have ever been to and that has ever been built, the beginning work was not done on the job site but first in the mind and then on the paper of an architect. Architects understand a variety of complex elements that go into the original designs of a project, things like geometry and calculus and art history to name a few, but the most import understanding that an architect must have in droves is all about structure. See, structures divides spaces, structures place all the load bearing in strategic spots for structural integrity to withstand anything, structures are by the book of measurements and numbers, structures are essential to any home or building being built by humans. Once upon a time, God laid out a structural map for people to follow to the exact letter otherwise known as the Law. The Law was God’s best way (at the time) to commune with His people in real time and for ages it was the standard for Israelites everywhere. Cut to 21st Century us and well, let’s just say that (thanks to Jesus) things are done slightly different these days.
Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Humans love structure, don’t we? We have a place for everything (even if it is disorganized) we know where everything is because we put it there. We have a beautifully divided life externally, of course we know this; but internally just how aware are we about the structures we have put in place or agreed to give place to that essentially make up who we are. From the way we get ready for bed at night to the way we handle the unexpected, all the way down to the structured way in which we check our phones for emails/messages/news feeds. We are non-stop maintaining, renovating or creating new structures for ourselves DAILY. And just as an architect imagines and designs a structure that will one day become a building of some kind; we too, spend hours pouring over numbers and figures and measurements and guidelines and permits and specifications and angles and perspectives with the goals we set forth to ultimately produce a safe and solid infrastructure that we call our lives. This seems like the best way to go about it, doesn’t it? After all, this way of doing things has been instilled into us since we were children and reinforced by society and friends and coworkers etc. So of course we build and plan and build and plan and imagine and build until we have the most gorgeously Instagram-able life. Then tragedy hits. Taking many different forms (even a Pandemic) and our structures take a hit of their own. We no longer have a job to go to and we are emptying the bank accounts just to survive. While some are using stay at home orders as much needed vacation time, others are back at the drafting table drawing up a new set of design plans in order to rebuild that part of our structure that is falling down all around us. And we, the architects, never get to sleep.
Hebrews 11:10 (TPT)
“His eyes of faith were set on the city with unshakable foundations, whose architect and builder is God Himself.”
Consistently throughout the Bible God is reminding or revealing Himself as being most capable of handling anything and everything that we (His people) are up against. From age to age He continuously perfects His methods of getting through to us, each time making things easier and simpler. He non-stop speaks of His ways being the best, His yoke (or burden) being the easiest, His paths full of peace, His guidance snare-less and His architecture flawless. And equally consistent throughout the ages we (the humans) have taken our cues from snakes, demons and even old blue eyes himself (doing it MY way). We forego the designs and construction provided to us free of charge by God; and in exchange we become our own architects imagining, designing, mapping out, planning and fact finding our most enviable lives. Oh, we’ve called it many progressive things over the years such as ‘self made,’ ‘hard working,’ ‘wise investing, ‘our best life yet,’ the list could go on and on; but these labels are to covering up the TRUTH as lipstick is to a pig. See, the TRUTH is that by becoming our own architect, we are no better than Adam & Eve as they sunk their greedy teeth into that apple in the hopes of becoming AS GOD. And of course, as the story goes, the LIE that they bit into, forced them out of the TRUTH, that they already were AS GOD.
Now, if anyone needs a minute to chew on that, take it now. We’ll wait.
Ok, so the human structured life is a NO NO, we are realizing quite rapidly that there are more things out of our control than we previously (pre-2020) believed; what then is God’s method for life? Psalm 37:23-24 (NKJ) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Order is a kingdom principle as we find in nearly every (if not every) part of who God is. From the order of His make up: Father, Son & Holy Spirit to the order in which we were designed as a reflection of Him: spirit, soul and body. He is the God of order. Not only has He given us orders, as in the commandments and post-Jesus, to love one another; but He holds all of the universe in order with the constant sound of His voice. We are all part of the order of disciples and when we are no longer being confined to the structures that we have built or have been built for us; we find that “miraculously” our lives begin to continue that Godly and orderly reflection as all things fall into place. We don’t know how it happened, after all, we’ve been waiting for it for so long; but wouldn’t we know it, the moment we resigned as our own architect and turned it over to God, all the things we’ve been hoping/looking/waiting for have simply paled in comparison to just how incredible life became once we aligned ourselves with God's Divine Order. .
1 Corinthians 15:22-24 (ESV)
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
It isn’t a coincidence that God refers to us and His Kingdom most often as a house or a temple. He is the ultimate architect after all. In fact, He has made each of us the new dwelling place of God, that He custom built/builds according to His design blueprints; having less to do with structure and most to do with Divine order. The wonderful thing is that we don't have to cut and nail or measure and glue any part of His masterpiece; He draws up the plans and builds what He desires His house to look and function like. Even more and much better than this, He loves His masterpiece (us) so much so that He chooses to take up residency inside each of us. There are many things that even the scholarly Christian mind cannot understand this side of heaven, but one thing that is certain and unquestionably clear is that when it comes to the order of things; if God isn't the architect our sleepless night are only going to get more frequent. Psalm 127:1 (ESV) “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
The brilliance of God's architecture allows for us to simply accept it, dwell in it and keep it clean, up to code (the TRUTH) as we tend to it every day. See, when we relinquish our amateur role as an architect, God the professional takes care of the numbers and figures, the heavy lifting and those sleepless nights. Friend, this moment in time in this world that we all have found ourselves alive and well within is not going to get less complicated. As is with everything in God's Kingdom we must become deeply familiar with letting go, giving all cares and worries to Him, trusting in Him alone and allowing Him to do what He has always been doing - BE OUR GOD. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” As we trade in our own anxiety for some sleep, we are giving God the freedom to work on our behalf - not because we are tired (although, aren't we all?) but purely because it gets us out of His way. Simply put, how about we take our own plans purposes and pursuits - lay them on God's drafting table and on our way out - grab the set of plans that He has made specific to each of us as the ultimate Divine exchange.