In one corner of my room dangles a rock tied to a short piece of rope. Does it DO anything? Nope. It just hangs there. But what it symbolizes is an encouragement and prodding for the soul.
There is a term that floats around the Ellerslie world: Tensile Strength. Unless you are a rock climber, most people are unfamiliar with the phrase. Tensile Strength is the resistance of a material to breaking under tension. Perhaps more simply, it is the weight a rope can endure before it snaps. If you go rock climbing and the rope you are using can only hold 150 pounds, you had better hope those extra donuts for breakfast didn’t push you over the “breaking point.” The normal method for measuring tensile is to take a rope, tie a heavy rock onto it, and throw it off a cliff. As the rock gets to the end of the rope and the strain and tension are at its height, that is the rope’s tensile strength.
Our lives and souls have a measurement of tensile as well. Biblical Christianity is one of immense tensile strength. Nothing should be able to crush us! Our souls should be so strong and fortified that whenever a gale-force hurricane of problems, pain, and persecution hits us, we stand strong without being toppled over.
We are to built upon a solid rock. Jesus says in Matthew 7.24-27:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
The Psalmist declared in Psalm 46: “GOD is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”
This Psalmist states that even if the entire earth was removed, all the mountains were thrown into the sea, earthquakes abounded, and the waters roared (can you even picture such a scene?) – even then! – we would not fear or tremble for our GOD is our refuge and strength. He is our ROCK!
When something arises in our lives that produces a distraction, fear, or trepidation, we should be unmovable, unflinching, laughing in the face of such danger. Not because we are cocky, arrogant, or proud, but because we stand fixed upon the Rock, who is Jesus. We stand sure because He has built tensile into our lives.
How do we allow Jesus to build such tensile in our lives? A friend of mine often says: “The road to martyrdom is paved with a thousand daily deaths.” The same is true with building tensile. We must allow Jesus to build it in the thousand little moments of every day. For example, when the alarm clock goes off, do we rush to hit snooze or jump out of bed (though maybe tired) and start the day? Sure it’s a little thing, but it is tensile building. The way we respond when we receive grievous news, our attitude when someone does something against us, our interaction with others, what we do when we’re all alone – all are opportunities for Jesus to build tensile within our lives.
I want to be made firm and steadfast, fixed and unmoved when any trial, temptation, or tempest comes into my life. I want to be trained by Jesus as a heroic-mighty man of God, not a mere (if I may steal CT Studd’s phrase) namby-pamby-milk-sop-softie Christian – and there are FAR too many of those running about in the church today. I want the REAL version of Christianity. The version that works, the version that is strong to be poured out, the version that has substance and a life flowing with the power and life of the Spirit, the version which stands fixed upon Jesus in the face of any circumstance or situation. Anything less is an imitation of the real deal.
Jesus, I must have you build tensile in my life. Throw open every door, knock down every wall, humble me, humiliate me, strip me down, do whatever is necessary to bring about Your fullness in my life.
For more on tensile strength and what it means to be immovable, I encourage you to download and listen to Eric Ludy’s sermon Immovable by clicking here.