Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Pillars of Faith

UV 2830/10000 The Pillar of Faith

To him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of My God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God, the name of the city of my God,the new Jerusalem that is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

Revelation 3 v 12

The Lord Jesus exhorts us to hold onto our faith, our personal knowledge of God that gives us the edge to be leaders, visionaries and overcomers in this world. We are to overcome sin, death and the fear of death, temptation, the weaknesses of our own flesh and mind, challenges, difficulties and the enemy of our souls. We can and shall overcome if we use effectively the double edged sword of the word : one edge to cut out the dross in us and the other edge to cut the dross of the world. If we do so, the Lord promises to make us tall pillars , strong pillars, beautiful pillars, stable pillars, unshakeable pillars of the very habitation of God, the tabernacle or the temple. We become building blocks of the kingdom of God. We become the pillars to hold up the roof or the canopy of the glory of God. We are an edifice of the Lord being built up to support the greater work of His kingdom. Coincidentally, I happened to travel yesterday to see the twelve apostles which are limestone rocks carved into natural pillars by the sea and wind in a bay in the Southern Sea off the coast of Melbourne. Some of the “ apostles “ have been so eroded by the tossing waves and raging winds that these are invisible. So much so, now all that remains are six and a half “apostles”. The existing pillars are losing a centimetre a year in its various dimensions. It is indeed an admonition from nature that we are to be built up as apostles of Christ in this world and not be eroded by all that happens around us. We should have accretion and not erosion of our faith, hope and love. We should be adding not losing centimetres of length, depth, height, breadth to our faith, love, vision, knowledge and grace. A pillar needs a deep and strong foundation. Jesus lays our foundation on the rock of faith in Him and His word.

The Lord writes on us a new name or in other words, He gives us new birth, new life, new identity, new hope, a new character, new abilities, new goals and priorities, new strength and eventually, a new destiny in the eternal city , the new Jerusalem , the capital city of the Lord. The process of our transformation is similar to that of how one temperamental and emotionally unstable Simon became Peter, the rock of faith on which the church of Christ came to be established. He will strengthen us from within by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. He will make us mature and consistent in living our faith and in our obedience to the Word. He establishes us and writes our name on stone so that our work and our words are never eroded or forgotten or ignored. The metals that form a pillar are malleable when being shaped but strong and hard when it assumes its final shape. Likewise, we should be flexible and teachable and mouldable while we are learning or being discipled by the Holy Spirit. But once our character and principles are shaped, we need to be unbending and uncompromising on fundamentals.

He who is our Maker is also our Builder. Jesus is the initiator, builder, sustainer , preserver, protector, finisher of our pillar of faith. Each pillar He carved out of the rough stone of our lives is unique. No two will be exactly the same as none of the apostles were identical. Our identity in Christ my be similar but never identical. Our responsibility is just to let Him do His work without our interference or interruption. The power to overcome does not come from striving, from self efforts, from success and achievement, from wisdom or even from abstinence and piety. It comes from God. Christ is the cornerstone at the four corners of our lives. We are built by Him on the principles He teaches us. We are built not at one go or in one day but moment by moment, experience by experience, yielding by yielding to the Holy Spirit, obedience by obedience. In the end it is not whether we have become rich or famous or powerful or successful that matters but whether we have followed Jesus in overcoming the world. Each day we should ask if a brick has been added to the pillar of our faith, whether a layer of experience of His love , a layer of excellence, a layer of truth, a layer of devotion have been added to the edifice of our faith. A pillar has a beautiful crown or capital on its top. The crown of salvation is our capital and we should not do anything that will make us lose it ever. Jesus is also our capstone or capital stone. The historic Iron pillar of Mehrauli which holds the famous national lion emblem of India has been so made that it has withstood the ravages and pressures of time since several millennia since it was first cast in the Mauryan era circa 3rd century BC. We too who hold up the Lion and the Lamb should stand up to the pressures, temptations to compromise as well as the adulterous pleasures of life.

Prateep V Philip

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