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As If Through Fire

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If anyone's work which he has built on [it] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:14-15

When Prussian military officer Fredrich von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge on this day in 1778, he had his work cut out for him. Washington had hired him to whip the worn-down and disorderly Continental Army into shape. All thorough that brutal winter, von Steuben did just that, instilling exacting discipline and basic hygiene with outstanding efficiency. His methods helped turn the tide not only of that miserable season but the entire war.

Just as the dream of a free nation wasn’t enough by itself to bring about victory for Washington’s men, so faith isn’t an automatic ticket to success in life. Once the foundation of Christ is laid, you still have to build on it—and the materials you use are crucial.

Just like with the Three Little Pigs, it’s easier to build with straw than with bricks, but only one will withstand the world. Each choice you make—praying in the morning instead of sleeping in that extra fifteen, unplugging the laptop rather than watching porn, talking with your spouse before you make a big decision instead of afterward—places a brick on your foundation instead of straw. Discipline wins the internal battles that help win the external war.
 

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