Building Our Own Stairway to Heaven

When the time came for the critical transition from talk to real action…to implementation of much needed beneficial reforms…the owners of the housing construction company failed to realize they themselves were the primary bottleneck to company growth…requiring radical organizational and managerial reform.

Through delegation of authority, through the management style of pushing power downward within the company, and through a radical, 180-degree turn-about in leadership style, employees would be empowered to autonomously shoulder some of the decision-making that would bring out their best self-motivated performance and enthusiastic commitment to their work.

Ironically and unfortunately, however, the company owners became the single major source of resistance and pushback to these proposed beneficial changes…that they themselves originally commissioned and endorsed.

The human tendency to take reform concepts, and partially set them aside or shave them down to conveniently fit within our already established program, is partly what Paul is talking about in Romans 10:3…”For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

We cannot take preferred bits and pieces of the precepts of God to suit ourselves, and then attempt to build our own stairway to heaven using partially selected components (see Mk 7:9).

Each and every piece must be included and be in the right place to produce a functional staircase.  Partial construction according to our own short-sighted program will not work.

A biblical-quality, God-composed journey of faith life-script is a larger, expansive business plan by God’s intentional and purposeful design.

Venturing with God out into the larger scope of the new territory of godliness in action, a territory by definition completely unfamiliar to us, requires a fundamental change in our discipleship outlook in the all-important areas of who is in control of our lives, who has the power as the new general manager, and who maintains sovereignty over the new expanded program (Isa. 55:8-9; Prov. 3:5-6; Mt. 16:24-25).

There is a night-and-day difference, in practical application and concrete outcomes, between changing a reform program to fit neatly within our settled ways of doing things, versus allowing the reform program to instead radically change us.

This is the essence of the reform program contained within the saying of Jesus regarding “new covenant” discipleship: “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mk 8:34-35).

If the stagnation of the status quo wins-out…because people pushback against beneficial change…then nothing will improve and things will stay the same.

The analogy to a rapidly growing housing construction company applies here to all Spirit-born Christians today.  If we continue to do things the same way then we will simply get more of the same results.  God has to displace our ways…with His higher life-script for us…if anything meaningful is to happen.

The importance of a changed program within the biblical narrative stories of faith is a concept that all humans have difficulty seeing and understanding, as evidenced in the construction company owner’s eventual negative response of pushback to the need for change in their company, preferring to stay within the comfortable mindset of their established, small-business routines.

If we decide to take up our cross and to follow Jesus, he then says: “Come.”  God will then insert a divinely crafted life-script into our lives that contains everything of value…purpose, direction, love, support, inspiration in time of need, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, service to others, inner peace, order, organization, hope…and character growth obtained through a singular, challenging mission that we could never dream up on our own.

And God can do this starting in the exact place we currently find ourselves.  Our part is to surrender, pray, listen for instructions, and be patient.

In business, sometimes cheap isn’t always the most economical.  We have to spend money to make money.

The gain we make through an investment in God’s eternal business plan far outweighs our initial cost in picking up our cross and following the resurrected Jesus.

Paul instructs the Christian: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

Author: Barton Jahn

I worked in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have eight Christian books self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on more books on building construction.

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