Build by the Instructions

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 11, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The LEGO Movie is about Emmet, an average every day joe who does nothing but his normal routine in the LEGO world. He ends up on a quest to save the world when all he knows is how to build according to the instructions and routine. He meets Master Builders along the way, characters who don’t know how to build by instructions and rather use all their pieces to make creative inventions. I won’t spoil the movie, but Emmet must learn how to be creative, but also the Master Builders must also learn how to build by the instructions.

Last week I wrote about the Big Picture and how every part of the Bible and Christian doctrine is meant to be a mosaic, an image of Christ, both individually and collectively. That is the standard God gives us, but it is much more than that. Our individual lives are also meant to be a picture of Jesus both individually and collectively. Now if we were to be dead honest with ourselves and compare ourselves to Jesus, none of us could say we match up. There is only one person who has ever truly lived the Christian life perfectly: Jesus Christ. Yet, just as Abraham, Joseph, David, Daniel, and others gave pictures and snapshots of what Jesus would be like, albeit not perfectly, so do we. Paul even describes us as ‘living epistles,’ living letters of God’s message to mankind.

Our problem is that our worldviews, which dictates how we live our lives and how we think, are not perfectly aligned to the picture God paints for us. Why aren’t they? I want to give three reasons why not and use a jigsaw puzzle and LEGOs to illustrate why not, then how to do it properly.

First, a jigsaw puzzle takes an image and breaks it up into a set of interlocking pieces. The challenge is to figure out how the different pieces fit together and create the image. There are many tactics in how to solve the puzzle, but the most popular one is to start with the edges or the borders. The edges define the limits of the puzzle, how big and how wide it goes. Then all the pieces fit within the edges.

Now there are issues with solving a jigsaw puzzle. The big problem is when we try to put pieces together that do not belong together. They may look like they fit and the colors may try to match, but there are ever so slight discrepancies that prove they don’t fit. If the edges are not built correctly, they can be too long or too short. If the inner pieces are in the wrong spot, the image that should be shown will be distorted. Yet many people try to force fit different pieces in the wrong places without stepping back and looking at the picture on the box to see if it really belongs.

This is seen most clearly in the twisting of Scripture. Scripture is twisted when a statement is not taken in the context it was given and the meaning is misapplied to make it fit a situation the person wants it to fit in. Satan did this to Jesus, misquoting Psalm 91:11-12 to get Jesus to be presumptuous. Yet Jesus knew where the piece went in the puzzle and knew it did not belong in that situation. So he quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 showing how to properly apply such a verse and when not to. He took the piece that did not belong where it was being placed, showed why it did not belong there, and then put it where it did belong.

I opened this post by talking about LEGOs because that is what illustrates the next two common errors. I was never much of a “master builder.” I was the kind who built by the instructions and I was GOOD. I could disassemble all my kits and put them into one massive pile of 30-40 thousand pieces. My brother could pull out a piece at random and I could tell immediately not only which kit the piece went to but also where in the kit. Not only do I have a good memory, but I knew my kits and I knew how they were supposed to look. The concept is still true with Christianity.

God has given us all the supplies we need to build and work out our faith with fear and trembling. He has also given us instructions on how to build. Now, I am not knocking the creativity of the “master builders.” That is a great skill to have and frequently it is a skill needed to operate in this world. However, the problem is many Christians want to free build with their lives and their doctrines, when God wants us to build according to the image he has given: Jesus Christ. We are not to conform to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are going to end up building according to one pattern or another – either the world around us or God. Build with God’s instructions. He knows precisely the image he wants and he wants that image to last. Only by building by God’s instructions can we build correctly.

The other problem is when we don’t even use LEGOs in our building. Most people would never consider to mix Lincoln Logs with LEGOS, trying to get the two to interlock with each other. It doesn’t work. Yet so many try to do that with the things of God and the things of the world. Somehow we have been hoodwinked to think that we can mix secular humanistic ideas with Scripture, particularly in the area of origins, but often in family planning, counseling, leadership, and many other areas. The world thinks the Bible is foolish and the Bible calls this world’s wisdom foolish. Why try to mix them? It doesn’t make sense.

God’s solution to all this is to build according to the instructions he gave us and to build according to the image he gave us. Let me continue to make clear that none of us will ever get it perfectly, yet that is the amazing thing about God. He can take the unclear, fuzzy images our lives generate and create a clear image of Jesus. How does he do that? He starts with the fancy term called “sanctification.” God gave me such a neat way to describe that. Using the jigsaw puzzle image, sanctification is removing a piece that does not belong where it is currently placed, putting it where it belongs, and replacing it with the piece that does belong. The removed piece may belong to the puzzle and just needs to go somewhere else. But often, the piece is not even part of that puzzle. That is why I could build my LEGO kits from memory. I knew which pieces belonged and which pieces did not. God does not merely remove pieces that don’t belong, he replaces them with pieces which do. And he does that by comparing us to the standards he has given. What are those standards? Next week, I’ll write about what Christianity is and what it is really about. It will be about what the image our Christian lives are meant to look like. Stay tuned.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.