During a walk in Tel Aviv, I came across a very ugly building. It was ugly because it was not finished. It was maybe one-third complete. Now if somebody tried to sell me that building, as is, I would be foolish to buy it. It’s not functionable. There are no walls, no facade and I’m sure the plumbing isn’t working.
However, right next to that unfinished building are two beautiful towers. Within a year or two, the not-yet-finished building will look just like those beautiful towers. They’re over 40 stories high and, rumor has it, the top floor is a restaurant / swimming pool.
No — this blog is not about real estate; it is about you!
If you’re like most believers, then you have moments where you wonder if you’re ever going to fulfill the destiny that God has placed on your life. Maybe you have moments where you feel like that one-third finished building. But instead of having construction workers building you up day and night, it seems like you’re stuck.
I want to encourage you that God is not finished with you! In fact, I can promise you that. Let’s go to the book of Philippians. Paul begins many of his letters with a prayer for his friends in other cities who are contending for the gospel.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Messiah Yeshua.” (Philippians 1:3-6)
God is not going to leave you only one-third finished! In verse six, Paul is no longer praying or asking God to do something, but he is stating what he believes to be a fact. He says that he is “confident.” Now this man knows a thing or two about the heart of God. He has visited the third heaven. He has seen the risen Messiah in a vision. He has received some of the most significant theological downloads of any human being ever to live. So, when he tells me that he’s confident of God doing something, my ears perk up.
He says that God is working on me and He’s going to carry it to completion until the day that Yeshua returns to planet earth. Most of us can break our progress down to two categories:
Areas where we need more equipping
Areas of sin which we need to overcome
Can you relate to that? This same Paul says in Ephesians, using the same verbiage connected to building: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Messiah Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
This part has to do with equipping. God has committed to equip us as His workmanship so that we can do the works of Jesus in this world. Through the Holy Spirit we can heal the sick and even raise the dead. We are called by God to preach the gospel and disciple all nations. Every one of us has a role to play in the Great Commission.
But sin can disqualify us. That’s what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, and that is why he disciplines his body to obey Jesus and not his own desires. In Titus he says that, “the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions.” (Titus 2:11-12) Most believers do not understand the power of grace. They think it is a girl’s name, when, in fact, (and no offense to anyone named Grace – it’s a beautiful name) grace is power. We obtain it to overcome sin and to walk in the supernatural.
The Bible tells us that there is a supply of grace at the throne of heaven and good news: It is available to us. But wait, there is more!
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Not only can we obtain grace to give us strength to overcome sin or persecution in the time of need, but the Bible says that because Yeshua became a human and was tempted, even as we are—and yet did not sin—that he sympathizes with our struggle. He cares about you and is praying for you at God’s right hand. No, Jesus is not looking down on you in anger. Instead He is saying, “I understand what you’re going through. I, too, was tempted. But I overcame. I’m now going to give you the grace to overcome as well.”
At His throne you don’t just find grace to overcome, but mercy for when we do fall into sin. Grace is power, but mercy is forgiveness. Mercy is given when we humble ourselves before God, not when we take it for granted and just keep sinning.
Jesus is on your side and one day soon you are no longer going to look like a one-third finished building, but a beautiful skyscraper touching heaven.