A House Built on Sand

 
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On August 2, 2012, when I first heard the gospel shared to me, it was nothing short of life saving. Within a year of my new birth, I saw revival in the high school Christian club I was leading. I was unchurched and didn’t even know what a revival was. But when we started a weekly prayer meeting, God moved. I saw the power of God manifest - dozens of my classmates giving their life to God, overflowing with His love, and selflessly serving the community around us. In those moments is when I told God that I wanted to be used in this way for the rest of my life.

After graduation, I tried to replicate what I had experienced. I was sure that God wanted revival everywhere, all we had to do was pray. So, I led a prayer meeting by myself for about six months. I invited people who said it was a great idea but would never show up when it came time to pray. My prayers went from intercessions for God’s revival to complaints about my situation. Looking back I see that my religious pride and limited vision created a rogue spirit in me that was not graceful or teachable. I felt isolated from other believers who did not share my vision and amidst spiritual and emotional crisis I dropped out of school and returned home convinced that I had failed God.

God Revealed My Shaky Foundation

In the rush of revival, I equated fast paced and fruit based ministry as success. When I lost those external signs, I felt my faith begin to crumble beneath me. Everything I thought I knew wasn’t working. It was then that many of my shortcomings became clear. I did not have a healthy habit of reading the Bible, so my mind was susceptible to the lies of the enemy. Furthermore, I did not actively seek a solid church community, so I struggled with feeling understood and continued in a “Me Against the World" mentality.

Like in Matthew 7:27, the wind and the waves began to show the the sand that I had built my faith on. I loved God, I loved what He had done in my life, but I was moving based on my experience and had stopped waiting on God and listening to His voice. I was demanding a certain manifestation of revival and ministry success to confirm my faith rather than the truth of who I am in God.

God My Firm Foundation

It was painful, but little did I know that in my arrogance, God was pursuing me into a healthier relationship with Him (Romans 5:10). In His grace, I was stripped from influence and leadership at a time where He could teach me humility and obedience. In solitude, He stirred love and dependence on His living word in my heart (Psalms 119:9-16). In my personal shortcomings He began to lower my defensiveness and give me a stronger desire for community (Hebrews 10:24-25). My prayers changed their position from asking God to move in revival to asking God to align my heart with His whatever His desire might be (Isaiah 55:8-9). Most importantly, He demonstrated the depth of His love and the extent of the covenant He made with me, to patiently walk through my stubbornness and immaturity in the completion of His promise to complete the good work He began in me (Jeremiah 29:11).

My attitude revealed the weakness of my foundation but it also demonstrated how committed God was to me. He allowed for these unstable foundations to give way so that He could build a strong foundation in Him. He taught me that true revival was a revival of the heart; a heart that desires nothing more than to follow Him wherever and however He leads.

 

Matt Ospina (@m.gospina) is pursuing a B.A. in History at UCLA and is also an Intern youth pastor at New Life Oasis Church. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA

 
 
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