“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
– Psalm 127:1
“Spirit break out, break our walls down! Spirit break out, Heaven come down!”
– Kim Walker-Smith
I’ve come to realize recently that the most interesting stories tend to be the most drawn out, detailed, and delayed. I don’t know why things seem to happen so slowly sometimes, but in relation to my personal story that seems to be a little bit delayed at the moment, my mom (one of my very best friends) shared something with me recently that has been hitting me hard. I would like to share it with you:
“Maybe the reason you haven’t seen your dreams come to fruition yet is because God is wanting to bless you even more as a result of the delay.”
Wow. What a crazy thought. Even the possibility of this being the case is truly amazing to me. I’ve personally struggled with the delays, but isn’t the God of the Bible beautiful? I can know without a shadow of a doubt that He is a Rewarder of the one who diligently seeks Him, and that He will reward me (Hebrews 11:6). My short life with my short-lived frustrations really shouldn’t affect Him at all, however, for some reason, what I feel affects Him, and more than just let it affect Him, He takes it ON. He has forever linked Himself to me, and is not ashamed to call me family (Hebrews 2:11). He created me for a purpose – life and life abundant, and He does not desire or have any less for me (John 10:10).
Abundant life doesn’t mean a life lived on my own pleasure, but a life that is lived to love and serve Him, and somehow in between that in His great kindness, all of my truest and deepest desires are fulfilled in Him (Psalm 37:4). This is what it looks like to be a Christian. I lay down my life for who and what I can’t see yet, but know and have already been made confident of, and I wait until the day when all will be manifested fully. That doesn’t mean however that I don’t, just like the rest of the world, struggle sometimes not being able to see it yet. With that being said, I want to share a dream the Lord gave me a year and a half ago that He recently reminded me of:
One morning, as it was just about time for me to get up, I had a dream that I was holding a blueprint in my left hand, and a list of building materials in my right hand. The blueprint in my left hand looked like it was just a quick, sketch drawing of a wall, and the only building material listed on the page in my right hand that I could see was lumber. I then looked up to the sky with these two papers in my hand, and said, “God, this is how I want You to build the Tabernacle!”
I immediately woke up, shocked at myself for my audacity towards God in my dream, but I somehow felt that He was convicting me of something more than what I had just dreamt about. Since my philosophy is to listen to the Lord’s voice whenever He reveals something to me, even if it hurts, I began to genuinely ask Him what my dream could mean for His and my relationship. Here is what He gently showed me:
The Tabernacle in the Bible was not just a structure or a building. It was built for the sole purpose of hosting God’s Glory and Presence, and was therefore specifically and meticulously described in detail by the Lord to His people in order to truly bring Him the most glory. Every single detail was chosen by God and spoken to Moses on the mountain, exactly the way that it was supposed to be done (see Exodus 25-31). God hands didn’t necessarily do the work, but He did perfectly and powerfully equip His people to do it with His skill and creativity (Exodus 35-39).
Why all the detail? What was the significance?
The Tabernacle on earth was meant to be a prophetic representation of what was in Heaven – every detail filled with overflowing beauty, power, and meaning. Every detail mirrored who God was and is, and He was to be absolutely, 100%, completely glorified in it.
So, how does this relate to my story, or to me?
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that my body is a temple (or Tabernacle) of the Holy Spirit, who is in me, who I have received from God, and that I am not my own. I have the Holy Spirit so that I can hear His voice, and I am not meant to just hear Him, but to follow Him. Therefore the Lord made it clear to me that again, like the Tabernacle, He has ordained me for great purposes – I am called to bring Him great glory. Every detail of my life is significant, and He has beautiful plans for all of them. I do have free will to make my own choices, and I don’t have to be afraid, if I’m trying to do the right thing, of making mistakes that will forever alter my fate (see 3rd blog post on La La Land), however, if I really want the best that God has for me, I will wait and listen for His voice in all things. I will obey Him in every detail.
This revelation rocked my world. Why? Because I realized that what I truly desire from the Lord is already mine, and will be reflected on the earth as I take every step in Him. He really does have what’s best for me, and He wants it for me more than I could ever even want it for myself. I just have to keep my eyes fixed on Him for every detail, and every step, of my every day. Is this exhausting? No, because the commands of the Lord are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)! Psalm 119:45 says “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts.” Following God’s steps for my life is actually what removes all burdens and hindrances from me. The things that used to chain me up and drag me down can no longer do so when I get my perspective right and really line my steps up with what He is asking me to do. When I seek God’s will for my life, and not my own, yes, I may experience some uncomfortable delays, but they are never unnecessary because they truly bring me to the best that I’ve been desiring!
I also realized that God is the One who is supposed to give the steps…not me. Did I mention that, in my dream, the blueprint that I was telling the Lord I wanted my Tabernacle to look like was actually a sketch of a wall? I boldly and with audacity looked up to God and basically said, “I don’t care what it is You’re doing, or what You have for me. Even though this Tabernacle is actually for You, all I can see is what I want right now, and this is what it is.”
Really? If I relate my life to this sketch, a wall is quick to build and easy to put up. A wall takes no effort, no time, no planning, no perspective, and no passion. A wall is basically useless outside of a building. Why would I want my life to resemble a wall? What I really want is a life filled to the brim and completely overflowing with the MOST meaning, the MOST purpose, the MOST passion, and intentionality, and beauty. If that is what I truly want then, why would I ever settle for just a wall?
God is showing me through my Pastor (Dustin Bates), through my parents, and through my experiences, that when I really want the best and am willing to wait on Him, He will give it to me little by little so that I am strong enough to actually carry it, I know what it is I am waiting for, and I will not settle for less (Exodus 23:30). I will NOT settle for less. It is an honor for me to allow the Lord to knock down all of my petty walls (my low-level expectations) when I realize that He has so much more and so much better for me. He wants to blow me away, and I believe Him! Why would I not? I have seen what it looks like to try to attain things my own way, and even if I attain them for a season, it never lasts.
If you want the best, you want a story that will last. There’s nothing better than the true fulfillment of a promise. So, I am here to remind you:
Don’t give up too soon. God is building the foundation of your Tabernacle so that the rest can stand firm, and you can keep what He gives you. In time, you’ll see His wisdom and kindness in making you wait while He grew your character and patience in Him.
He is faithful, and He will be faithful to you. Surrender the building plans.