By Jack Davis
I Cor. 12:31 “…covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
I Cor. 14:12,26 “…forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church…Let all things be done unto edifying.”
Eph. 2:19-22 “…ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
The Scripture is filled with instruction concerning a constructive attitude in God’s building, and in Christ’s body. We who are members of Christ’s body, and part of God’s building, should be laborers together with God, as He gives the increase. Each one shall be rewarded according to his individual responsibility. Therefore we are to take heed how we are building and the material we are using in our lives.
The Holy Spirit would give us precious instruction in this area, as we consider the charge that King David gave his son Solomon and the Princes of Israel concerning the building of the house for the Name of the Lord. David said, “The house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory…Now SET your heart and soul to SEEK the Lord your God; ARISE therefore and BUILD ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to BRING the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the Name of the Lord” – I Chron. 22:5,19. Let us draw spiritual benefit as we think on these five words from verse 19: Set, Seek, Arise, Build, and Bring. May these give us some insight so that we may aspire, enquire, inspire, and see transpire to acquire the best of our Father’s good pleasure.
“Set your heart:” I have found some synonyms to the Hebrew word translated “set” to be “to fix, plant, appoint, constitute, commit, fasten, give over.” In a constructive attitude the Lord would have us aspire to setting our affections on things which are higher. To me, this would be wholehearted determination and holy zeal. “Whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord you shall receive a reward of the inheritance” – Col. 3:23-24. “Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave” – Ecc. 9:10. We have only one life; it will soon be past, so let us redeem the time. While it is day, let us make the opportunities (to be constructive) count. O Lord, teach us to number our days! “Blessed are they that seek Thee with a whole heart…give me understanding…Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” Ps. 19:2,34.
“Seek the Lord:” From the Hebrew word translated “seek” we also find these synonyms; “implore, regard, follow.” It seems to carry the thought “to apply oneself, to tread or frequent a place.” It is also very important that we always enquire before God’s throne, and at the feet of Jesus for wisdom and enablement. Taking these from Him could save us a lot of wasted energy and effort. To be constructive we must completely trust His guidance and grace. Ask the Lord and look into His Word for it is full of constructive guide lines, especially in Paul’s Epistles.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” – I Cor. 10:23-24. When we seek the Lord, we are made to realize that the things that are non-constructive and unprofitable are not just out in the world, and only among unbelievers. But the religious form of this age is spiritually very destructive. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another” – Rom. 14:19. Let us paraphrase; Let our aim be to keep on pursuing that which belongs to our mutual up-building.
“Arise therefore:” This word from the Hebrew seems to carry such thoughts as, to flourish, to excite, to apply to action. This word also speaks to me of one of the important aspects of overcoming. In order to be truly constructive, there must be spiritual cooperation, that is, rising above petty feelings. Love is not easily provoked, (not touchy, not quick to take offence, not irritable.) We are taught to walk in love. We who can foresee the Lord’s coming are urged to inspire one another unto love and good works. In view of our Lord’s return we are told to comfort ourselves together, and edify one another – I Thess. 5:11. O yes, there will be hindrances, difficulties, problems, objections and fierce opposition. Satan, who came to steal, kill, and destroy, seems to be very handy at making it easy for the flesh to be destructive. God has provided everything to make us, (that is, our lives), totally constructive. He place gifts in the Church, and the offices for building up the body of Christ, and not just for the uplifting of the gifts, and the gifted. Eph. 4:11-12.
“Build ye:” Our Father is willing to use every member, every part in its place to cause His great building plan to transpire. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which it the Head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectually working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love: – Eph. 4:15-16. This word translated “build” is very interesting, it is used to express making repairs, and to set up, but also to “cause to prosper, to advance or enlarge in knowledge, wealth, and honor.” This same word is also used of teachers, and applied to having offspring. Those who know and appreciate Paul’s epistles will enjoy such significance.
“Bring:” Them which sleep in Jesus will God (one day soon) bring with Him, When He gathers together in one all things in Christ. O, How He must anticipate with joy, the claiming and gathering home His precious purchased possessions. The SETTING, SEEKING, ARISING, and BUILDING was for the purpose of BRINGING in the Ark and the Holy vessels. The Ark teaches us of the presence and provisions of God among His people. We, His trusting people, are the “vessels” in whom His glorious provisions are placed; His treasures are invested, and His Presence is to be realized. Them which sleep in Christ, and those who are alive and remain will God one day soon bring with Him.
Praise God, one day soon it will be universally announced; “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God” – Rev. 21:2.