Bridges connect. We all know bridges help people cross an otherwise difficult obstacle such as a river, gorge or busy highway. Isn’t that what God has done for us? He took a chasm we could not traverse on our own and created a bridge called the cross that allowed us to enter His kingdom through Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 we read, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
Apart from the work of Jesus on the cross, there is no way we could stand before a Holy God. Isaiah 64:6-7 says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for you have hidden Your face from us and have consumed us because of our iniquities.” Clearly, our own righteousness would never be enough to enter the presence of God. We need Christ to be our bridge to allow us to enter that holy place.
A critical aspect of bridges is their supports must be anchored securely on a firm foundation. Recently at work, I was visiting with one of our structural engineers about a bridge he inspected. The issue was the middle supports were in a river where a whirlpool was slowing scouring away the riverbed around the support. The hole was quickly becoming too deep for the support to hold and the bridge was going to be closed while a solution was designed. Just as it is necessary for a physical bridge, Jesus assures us that the bridge He has provided is built on a solid foundation, as seen in I Corinthians 3:11, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Also, in Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.”
Jesus gives us another view of the importance of a solid foundation in Luke 6:48, “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.” Throughout scripture, Jesus is referred to as our Rock. We see this in Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Again, in Psalm 18:31, we see God is our rock, “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?”
Of course, our bridge requires a firm foundation, but what about the supports themselves? In our relationship with Christ, what supports do we have? I believe there are many, but four come to mind: studying God’s Word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other Christ-followers.
Studying God’s Word gives us God’s perspective on life. In II Timothy 2:15, the ESV states, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” We need to study His Word before we can “rightly handle” it. In II Timothy 3:16 & 17 we read, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” These two verses tell us how important God’s Word is in helping navigate this thing called life. We need an understanding of sound doctrine. We need reproof and correction. We need instruction in righteousness (right standing with God). The promise is that we can be fully equipped for the work we have been assigned. All of that is extremely powerful, but don’t miss the beginning of these verses. ALL scripture is inspired by God. One translation says “God-breathed”. If God took the time to inspire the writers to speak to us through His Word, we want to find out what He has to say!
Prayer is another support in our relationship with God. Throughout the Gospels, we see on many occasions where Jesus went off by Himself to pray and spend time with the Father. If Jesus needed those times, we most certainly do. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that prayer is some special formula or certain words to be said. Prayer is simply talking with God about what is on your heart. You just talk with Him like you would any other friend. He wants to dialog with us. How was our day? What brought us joy? What hurts are we carrying? What has us worried or scared? Talk with Him about it all. He really does care and wants to talk with us as well. Spend time to listen for His still, small voice. The more time we spend in prayer, the more we will be able to understand His Word and His desires for our life.
The third support that is vital to our growth and relationship is worship. One of my favorite scriptures for this is Psalm 100. “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” King David was called a man after God’s own heart and was one of the best worshippers listed in scripture. Many of the Psalms recorded in the Old Testament were songs from David. I find it very interesting that often God called the worshippers to be the first to go into battle. I believe one of the reasons for this was to remind the soldiers whose battle it really was by emphasizing praise to God before the battle began. (See II Chronicles 20 for an example.)
Also of importance in our relationship with Christ is fellowship with other believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 points out the importance of spending time with other Christians, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of our selves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” When we try to live out our Christian life alone, we can get discouraged and the enemy can do a great job of attacking our minds and changing our thinking. However, when we walk in fellowship with other Christians they can give us encouragement and challenge us to walk in the fullness of all God has intended for us. Moses was an incredible man of God, but he still needed others to support him. In the midst of battle, Aaron and Hur were there to hold up Moses arms to ensure victory. (See Exodus 17:12). We all need Aaron and Hurs in our lives to help us in the midst of our battles.
Won’t you let Christ be your bridge today, spanning a divide so great you cannot cross on your own? Remember His foundation is more secure than anything you could build and the vital supports of His Word, prayer, worship and fellowship make our relationship with Christ so much stronger.