This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them;.” – Amos 7:7-8.

Structure does not just materialize out of thin air. Ordered systems or structures do not just happen.  No matter of energy will bring structure out of chaos. There is a reason for every structure. God is the author and organizer of structure and design.

I Corinthians 14:40 is a good idea if you are building a structure.“But all things should be done decently and in order.”  It starts with the structure being straight and level. Builders will tell you that when you are involved in a building project you will have to have a plumb line to make sure that the walls of the project stand perfectly straight. It’s a very simple tool (just a string with a pointed weight on the end of it), but it has an incredible influence on the quality of the structure. Obviously, in order for a structure to be sound, it needs straight walls.

God has given us the Bible as a plumb line to help us set things straight and tell us if the structures in our life are glorifying to Him. We can evaluate ourselves, our choices, our decisions, our thoughts, and our actions to see how they align with the truth of God’s Word. The Bible gives us the ideal and accurate measurement of what is right and what is not. 

The Bible makes it clear that God has a plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). But when it comes to the family, government, the workplace, even church, we sometimes struggle to put it all together and live in accordance withs God’s standards. Often our standards are in conflict with God’s standards as we try to identify and live the specific blueprint God has for us. 

We can lower His standards and bristle at His structures when we get caught in the endless cycle of trying to be better, doing things faster, and having more stuff. We will naturally want to focus on getting a great job, finding the right person to marry, getting the first home or second home, and buying the newer car. We might say we love God but, in reality, our real ambition and drive is about how we can use the structures God put into place to improve our standard of living rather than complying with His design for those structures. We fail to see jesus in the midst of all those structures.

Very clearly in Scripture, God says that He has a unique work for each of us to do. In Ephesians 2:10 it says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you use as a spiritual plumb line?
  2. Do you will view the four structures – home, government, workplace and church – differently after the message?
  3. How do you see these structures fitting into God’s plan for our lives?
  4. Pray and ask God for the wisdom to live by His standards.