The Tower

15So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.   John 21:15-17...."When we stand before Him, He will not ask, 'Were you accurately estimated? Were you appropriately recognized? Were you sufficiently applauded?' Instead He will ask, 'Did you love Me? Did you love others toward Me? Did you obey Me? Did you submit yourself to My will and My Word? Did you live for what I died for?' " Alicia Britt Chole


In the book, The Way Of The Dragon Or The Way Of The Lamb, Kyle Strobel tells of his visit to a prominent evangelical church. He said as they waited in the lobby, they saw a huge model of an ancient ziggurat, which is a pyramid shaped building that increased in height using steps. Most biblical scholars believe the Tower of Babel in Genesis was a ziggurat. Upon closer inspection, he saw that it was a massive fountain, built upon a foundation of large boulders. Upon each boulder was a plaque that named some achievement of the church. Strobel writes, "Let that sink in. Without realizing the implications, someone built the Tower of Babel in the lobby of the church with the foundation stones representing their own achievements. Someone built a model of the biblical portrayal of human arrogance as a physical representation of their own success......What could possibly be the goal of spending a fortune to erect such a monstrosity other than proving that they had something to be proud of?" In a church culture awash with "goals," what is it we're really trying to prove? 

Let me say right off that in a ministry spanning over 30 years, I spent the majority of them seeking to build my own "Tower," to erect my own monument, establish my own legacy. It wasn't a naked obsession. I wanted to see His Kingdom grow, souls saved, lives made whole. I wanted to bring Him glory. I still do, but in all of it was a mixture. I wanted my kingdom to grow as well. I wanted glory too. I wanted Him to increase.....and to increase along with Him. I offered Him a mixture of sacrifice and pride. That's not an offering He seeks or accepts, and in our hearts we know that. So why do we offer it up? The yearnings to build our own towers remain in us. We want to give Him what we do. He wishes for us to offer up who we are. All of who we are. He calls us to the simplicity of such a life just as He did Peter. Peter, who always yearned for first place. "Feed My sheep. Tend My lambs." That's what we're all called to, for all who are His are members of His priesthood. But instead, we seek additions to our towers....and the sheep and lambs are starving, wandering off. In our homes, our churches, and to all the "wanderers" beyond.

Strobel writes, "The desire to be special, to be significant and powerful, is endemic in our culture; and we bring those things to the body of Christ." In the Church today, very few give much thought as to the account of our lives lived out in Him that will be required of us one day. The apostle Paul greatly feared falling short in such an accounting. Such was his love for his Lord, and for those He had entrusted to him. He never desired to be more than a feeder and tender of sheep, a vessel of His wonder and glory unto those he'd been sent to. He left no monuments, unless a jail cell can be reckoned as such. Yet His sheep are fed and tended even now through the ministry his Lord entrusted to him. Of the questions listed above by Chole, he could truthfully say that he did indeed, Live for what Christ died for. Can we? Can I? Can you?

The lure of the tower still plucks at my heart, even now in my latter years. I like to think I've grown past it, but have I? If He were to take me back once more to the beginning of my ministry for Him, would I, knowing what I do now, still seek to erect that tower? The lure is strong. It is in our flesh to deeply love monuments to our self. We are called to live a life that points to Him alone. All to Him alone. To Christ alone, and not to Christ....and me. Who does our life really point to? What are we trying to get people to see? Christ, or our monuments?


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   May 2019   
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