Foundations: Rock or Sand?
Luke 6:46-49 (NKJV) "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 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. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
In today's world, we see accelerated change, the likes of which has not been equaled. In my lifetime, we have shifted from being analog to digital. I was speaking with friends that knew me years ago when I had an extremely prolific library, and I was able to tell them assuredly that I had many more books on my IPhone that fit in my hand, than all the shelves I used to own. That's quite a change.
Most, if not all of our lifestyle, has been affected by change, and much of it is good, if not very good. Think of it, information on demand, the amount of worship experiences we can have on line, teachings, Bible tools, entertainment, keeping in touch with others - all of it is so good. When I first went to the mission field, I traveled from the USA to Nigeria, which took us two full days. When I got there I wrote a post card to my then fiancee, telling her I missed her and couldn't wait to see her again. (If you haven't guessed, that girl was Janice.) I sent that post card and didn't think much of it. We could not call home to check in because there was only a trans-Atlantic cable that was available from 12 midnight to 3am and the cost of the calls were exorbitant and way above the budget of a Bible College student. I thought little about that postcard as I settled into five weeks of work there on the African continent.
When I returned to a sweet reunion with my bride to be, we were shocked when the post card arrived one week later that when I arrived! Compare this to the last time I was in Kenya, in 2018, I FaceTimed Janice and spoke with her almost everyday, for free!
Things have and will definitely change!
Building on the Rock or Sand
If I build and/or fill my life with these things, I am building on things that shift like sand, I will find that my "house", my life and all I hold dear, will fall, and the "ruin of that house will be great."
What is the alternative? To build on the life of Jesus, His teachings which comprise of His works and His words, is the only way to have security in this life. Many of us, when the winds blow, we let go of the teachings of Jesus and try to find shelter in the shacks we have built that are wood, hay, and stubble.
"Jesus is for you. Are you for Him?"
The result is predictable, in that there is ruin of that building. Foundations matter and what is built on Jesus and His lived out words (teachings put into practice) is what lasts.
So, how do I do this?
1) Know Him
Philippians 3:7-11 (NKJV) "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
My life in Jesus starts with me knowing Him, knowing who He is and what He is for. The basics are the foundation here: prayer, listening, worship, a life in the Bible that has a bent towards activation and application, and walking with Him where you "never hang up the phone", but keep your heart open to Him at all times.
2) Knowing who you are in Him
Ephesians 1:7-14 (NKJV) "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."
This, just one section of dozens in the Bible, speaks of who we are in Him. Knowing this is foundational to building on His words.
I recently was approached by a believer about how I was able to stay calm in the midst of circumstances. My only answer is that I know Him and who I am in Him. It is what keeps my joy and peace, precious commodities, purchased by the blood of Jesus.
This doesn't mean I don't react to news. Things hit me like anyone else, but over the years my default has gone back to this, who He is, who He is to me, and who I am in Him. Our family has seen it's full share of tragedy, but regardless of the circumstance, Janice and I end up trusting Him and resting in Him. When I don't assume this posture, within hours, if not moments, it becomes glaring.
"My life in Jesus starts with me knowing Him, knowing who He is and what He is for. "
I cannot build on or reaction to fear, only love from the precious Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5 (NKJV)Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.) If cannot build my life wanting to see someone else "get theirs". I have to (Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.).
This is how I build. Foundations are laid so that they can support the weight of building and what will come against that building.
Ask yourself if life is breaking down against you:
What have I built my life on?
What have I given up during the current crises that was rock? Am I purposefully moving my life closer to Jesus and His people or away from? If so, why?
Am I trying to consolidate buildings built on no foundation?
Am I keeping things and activities which drain my life in Jesus or enhance it? (By the way, He gives us rest, so recreation, or "re-creation" is given to us to restore our souls in the midst of His life, for those of you who only advocate for austere lifestyles in Jesus. There is more!)
Jesus is for you, are you for Him? He has given us everything! Reread this well know piece of scripture from Peter.
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Inventory your life, your life responses, and how you are handling storms right now. If you find the walls crash down around you, it is not too late! Jesus is the master builder! Go to Him and build on His words! A strong, resilient life is waiting!