Build me a cabin
I was having a conversation with a friend a couple weeks ago and he told me about this song that his mom always had an issue with. I had never heard the song before and he only remembered the line, “build me a cabin in the corner of glory land”. The problem his mom had was that Jesus promised us mansions and in singing that song they were essentially saying “I don’t want what you have promised, I am willing to accept the bare minimum as long as it is not absolutely horrible”.
My initial reaction was that I got it, they weren’t singing that they did not want a mansion, they were merely saying that they would make their residence anywhere as long as it is in glory.And to support that thought the words of another song came to mind “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm chapter 10, verse 84).
A few minutes before starting this article I was still there. I was ready to sit before my laptop and defend the cause of the cabin dwellers, because, as I said, I got it. I just want to be close to my Saviour and I don’t need luxury to accomplish that.
Changing my tune
Then I started to reconsider. The words in the scripture quoted above remains true but it doesn’t mean that in order to live a life that is pleasing to God, we must live a mediocre life. Jesus himself said that His Father’s house has many mansions and He is going to prepare a place for us so that we can be with Him. Why then, if the Creator of Heaven and earth, the giver and sustainer of life is giving me an inheritance which includes a mansion should I be refusing it so I can live in the backyard?
And just in case you are wondering, this is not really about mansions and cabins because there are no cabins in glory. There will be no space in Heaven for settlements so no one will be confined to a corner. This is about our willingness to take God at His word, to believe in His promises and to act accordingly.
Forget about what you deserve
A lot of us are stuck living lives of lack, not living up to the potential God has placed in us because we have convinced ourselves that we don’t deserve more than what we have. We are stuck in our mediocre lives because we have believed the lie that something about us or something in our pasts somehow disqualifies us from participating in the promises that God has made to us.
I have a word for you. As a matter of fact, I have three. Get over yourselves.
I often have to remind myself of this very thing when I find myself doubting whether or not I deserve what God has promised me. What it is important to remember is that the only thing we have earned in this life is death. Romans chapter 6, verse 23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death” and since “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, (Romans chapter 3, verse 23) we all deserve death. But I don’t hear anyone asking for their wages so forget about what you deserve.
That is how grace works.
The beautiful thing about God and His role as Father is that He is fully aware of our shortcomings. He is fully aware of the fact that you have missed the mark, and will miss the mark. That does not take away His willingness or ability to glorify Himself in you. But you have to be willing to be great. You have to be humble enough to realize that you could never possibly earn the unmerited favour of God.
Speaking of humility
A lot of us believe that it is somehow a sign of humility to live below our potential. It is not. It is a slap in the face of a willing and able God who is waiting to fulfill His promises to you if only you would have the courage to go after them.
If God is such a God of excellence, a God of might and power, why then should you His beloved child, His representative, His chosen generation, His holy nation, not live a life that accurately reflects the goodness of God?
Why should I live in a cabin when the mansion that my Father built and had the title engraved with my name sits empty? This is cabin dweller mentality.
Why should you sit on your God-given talents and abilities when there are people in the world in need of your brand of inspiration and encouragement? Again, cabin dweller mentality.
Go get your mansion
There is nothing good and right and wholesome about settling in any area of life where God has promised you excellence. Jesus Himself said that he came so we could have life and have it abundantly.
And just so we’re sure, when I speak of abundant life I am not speaking of mere financial abundance. I am referring to abundance in spirituality, in your relationships with both God and man, in your health, in your family life, jobs etc.
I am speaking about not being satisfied to merely stand on Mount Nebo and see from a distance the relationship you could have with God, the dream job you have talked yourself out of applying for, your dream house, a closer relationship with your parents or siblings. And this is nowhere close to being an exhaustive list. But these are “mansions” that we effectively turn our backs on everyday so we can dwell in a “cabin in a corner”.
Promise yourself today that you will walk boldly into every promise God has made you knowing with certainty that He meant it when He said ““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future””, (Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11).
The promised land was prepared for you, don’t die in Moab.
Natasha Young is an accountant and mother of one from the land of wood and water (Jamaica) in the West Indies who feels like she has missed her true calling which was to have become a teacher, or writer/director (or all of the above!). She is the only person she knows who works with numbers everyday but had English as a favourite subject in school. The most used app on her phone is Kindle so you know what that means. She is a lover of music and can oftentimes be heard belting on the top of her voice even though singing is not a talent of hers. But ultimately, she is just a sinner saved by grace who believes we all have a responsibility to use our gifts for the growth of God’s people and His glory.