A couple nights ago I had a disturbing dream. Without going into all the details, I was a 3rd person observer, and I watched as I died in a terrible car crash. That wasn’t disturbing, actually. But as I, the observer, approached the car, I saw myself awaken from death and begin walking toward heaven. There were several others with me, and I had the distinct impression that I was escaping something. The “escaping” part is what has been bothering me…
Ever since I awoke from that dream, I have been thinking about what I possibly could have been “escaping” from in my dream. Then I remembered a verse in Scripture that made me freeze in my tracks.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 talks about our deeds, and how those deeds are built upon the foundation of Christ. All of our deeds fall into the categories of “gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw.” Verses 13-15 say, “his work will be shown for what it is…..It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
Wow. The thought of all my idle, useless deeds being revealed for what they are is overwhelming. More overwhelming to me, though, is the though of making it to heaven but only “as one escaping through the flames.” Man, I want my deeds to withstand the test of fire! Yes, in my dream, I made it to heaven. That’s worth celebrating. However, as I saw myself stand up from the car wreckage, there was a sense of regret, of sadness. Loss. I don’t want my future reality to parallel to what I experienced in my dream – I want to run to the throne with no regret, sadness, or loss. My reward will be hearing my Savior say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
The encouraging thing comes from the next verse in 1 Corinthians 3, verse 16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” While I’m building on to this foundation of Christ, I have a constant choice of tossing a handful of hay on the structure or carefully setting a brick of gold on what’s been previously built. When I choose to obey the Spirit who lives in me, it becomes a pleasure turning away from the burnable materials and sticking with the fireproof stuff.
My heart’s desire is to be mindful of all that I build with, and to get rid of the wood, hay, and straw. And to keep on buildin’!