Excellence in the Hidden Life

Image result for practicing basketball alone

Sport personalities captivate us. They seem to reach the top of their field almost effortlessly. That’s what we see. But what we don’t see is the grueling hours of practice when no one is watching. Whether it is soccer, basketball, golf or swimming, every athlete needs to pay the cost to be the best they can be.

It is no different in our spiritual life. Do we assume that reading the Bible for five minutes or shooting off a thoughtless prayer makes us spiritual giants? I don’t think so. In our instant coffee/cup noodle society, we want things fast. But spirituality takes time. We see a successful pastor, speaker, leader and attempt to copy his skills and fall flat on our faces. Why? It’s not about the outside. It’s the hidden life that they have been working on constantly.

We learn this principle from how Solomon built the temple of God. Seriously, the temple? Stick with me. You’ll see. We read:

1 Kings 5:17
At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.

Building 101 – The foundation of the temple formed the base. Everything else built on top of it. Meaning, you don’t see the base anymore once the temple was built. Solomon spares no effort to get “high-grade stone” for the unseen base. Why? The quality of the base affects the rest of the building. A building collapsed in Taiwan, killing hundreds of people and rescuers found tin cans were apparently used as filler inside some of the concrete beams! No wonder it collapsed eventually.

We may look good on the outside for a while. I guarantee you that if your spiritual foundation isn’t strong, you’ll never succeed in the long run. It’s gonna come crashing down like the house built on sand (Matt 7:24-27).

Another important point to note about the temple construction was that blocks were cut and prepared at the quarry. The quarry was really noisy. But the temple was quiet as the blocks were assembled. We read:

1 Kings 6:7
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.

In other words, the hard work of cutting and shaping our spiritual lives happens between Monday to Saturday. Sunday is the presentation of the result. We need to be disciplined in our prayer, Bible reading and habits outside church to build a strong foundation. We need to pay the cost to be the best we can be.

 

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