What Are You Looking For?
By Major Terry W. Griffin –
The day the new cadets arrive at the College for Officer Training is very exciting. There is lots of activity and a variety of emotions as the cadets check in to prepare themselves for ministry as Salvation Army officers.
This new session has been named “Builders of the Kingdom.” It is a title which challenges every Christian and denotes a very specific vision for each one of us. This is the vision of faith that drove Abraham to leave the comfort of his home country and all that he knew to follow the leading of God. We read in the book of Hebrews that Abraham by faith “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) He was looking for that which was greater than his present circumstance, even though he was a wealthy man, and had eternal rather than temporary value.
As I contemplate my own values as a Christian, I must admit that there are occasions when I am not looking for that which has eternal value, but rather, that which has more to do with my own personal kingdom. It can be easy for me to set limits on how much I will give of my time and resources for the building of God’s Kingdom because I am more concerned with the preservation of the things I have accumulated and the little kingdom I have built for myself. The vision of Abraham challenges me to develop new eyes of faith and to see that God has greater plans for me and for his Kingdom than I could ever dream or imagine. It helps me let go of the “trinkets” of time and possessions which have no eternal value and invest in that which God himself has designed and is building.
Builders of the Kingdom is what each of us who claim the name of Christ are. God has provided the vision, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) It is a vision of our personal salvation, as well as a vision to reach lost souls for Jesus Christ. God has also provided the materials needed to build his Kingdom; “And coming to him as a living stone….you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house…” (1Peter 2:4,5)
God has provided the vision, the design and the materials to build, but it is up to us to get the proper training to know how to build. We may have good intentions, but unless we invest in a training program the vision and plans of the architect will never be properly realized. To be Kingdom builders we must be willing to spend the time learning how to be effective in leading people to Jesus and developing them into maturity.
A final challenge comes from Nehemiah. Builders need to build if the work is going to be accomplished. ‘Let us arise and build.’ So they put their hands to the good work.” Builders are needed to do the work of the Kingdom and to be members of the Kingdom. It all has to do with what you are looking for. If you are looking for that which is eternal, invest yourself in your relationship with Christ and in those activities which are pleasing to him and to the building of his Kingdom, not ours.
O shall we never learn
The truth all time has taught.
That without God as architect
Our building comes to naught?
Lord, help us, and inspire
Our hearts and lives that we
May build, with all thy wondrous gifts,
A Kingdom meet for thee.