Getting Rid of the Wood, Hay, and Straw

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’!

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One thought on “Getting Rid of the Wood, Hay, and Straw

  1. Brother Brandon,

    Reading this reminds me of times past and conversations we had as youths. Sometimes I wonder where all the time has gone………. sigh! At moments like this I really miss friends like you.

    At the moment I am listening to The Blind Boys of Alabama. Check them out. The album I have is Higher Ground. In case you haven’t heard of them, they are a blues, gospel sort of group. Think of BB King singing Gospel. I love them!

    Reading your blog also reminds me of coming out of my divorce, and the time it took to recover. I had, and still have, a lot of healing to do. The idea of a crash, and a death often come in different forms than just the literal sort. I had to crash horribly in order to rebuild and stand on level ground inside myself. Many years of thinking I was doing the right thing didn’t mean a thing until I came face to face with the dregs of my soul, and having to turn it all over to God. Unless God is leading, doing the right thing means nothing. Only His path and leading is the ‘right thing’. Harder still is remembering that I should never forget that every day.

    Every day the devil tries to pick holes in my resolve. I have to remind myself that the hand of God is working in my life even when the devil pastes blinders over my eyes. God is the only one who can take those blinders away. The truth is that I have to pray continually to keep my way during the day.

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