Being Faithful. Day four...
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “foundation”? If you're interested in houses, you will probably think about the foundations of various types of buildings. If you're interested in Quarter Horses, you will probably think about foundation‐bred mares and stallions whose bloodlines go back to the origins of the breed. If you're interested in the arts, you will probably think about non‐profit organizations that promote new artists.
But there is also a spiritual foundation upon which lives are built. And that foundation is the faithfulness of God, which centers on Jesus. God coming to earth as man is the ultimate demonstration of God's faithfulness.
Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10–11 NLT)
No reputable contractor would build on a shoddy foundation. Any work the contractor did would be subject to the movement of the foundation. The sheetrock could look perfect one day and be cracked the next. The cabinet doors and drawers could open and close perfectly one day and bind up the next. And if the building was large enough, it could collapse under its own weight.
In the same way, if God is not faithful then why would we want Him to be the foundation of our lives? It makes no sense. If He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and then turns around and abandons us… what do we have? We have nothing but empty promises that will collapse under their own weight.
But God is faithful. Over the last couple of days we have seen how it is inconceivable that Jesus would die an agonizing death on the Cross unless we were precious to Him. And to make so great a sacrifice for us certainly backs up His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us.
So what would cause our lives to just fall in on top of us?
It's a bad plan to accuse God of being unfaithful and abandoning us during our hour of need… when we never paid any attention to where He was the hour before. I know this is difficult to hear, but it's true in way too many instances. Sometimes our world falls in on top of us because we didn't build it on God's faithfulness, but on a foundation of our own choosing that simply can't withstand the issues of life.
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash. (Matthew 7: 24–27 NLT)
Some people say this parable is about salvation, and those who build on sand are doomed to hell. But I don't think building a life on sand is just limited to those who reject Jesus.
I have observed plenty of folks who appear to have made Jesus their Savior, but are unwilling to make Him their Lord. In other words, I see no reason in Scripture why it's not technically possible to be free from hell in the next life, but live like hell in this one.
The Word goes in one ear and out the other for these folks. They hear but they don't listen. They are focused on the things of this world. The Bible refers to them as “carnal.”
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual [people] but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able [to receive it], and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where [there are] envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like [mere] men? (1 Corinthians 3:1–3 NKJV)
Let me illustrate this principle again with another passage:
Now if anyone builds on this foundation [with] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 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 3:12–15 NKJV)
In this case, it is very clear that some folks will get to Heaven only by the skin of their teeth, so‐to‐speak. And what they built their lives on won't stand.
If your life has fallen in on top of you, I encourage you to take a look at what you've been building on.
Before you try to put your life back together, please give an honest answer to the question: “Have I been building on God's faithfulness?” The answer could be extremely painful, but avoiding the question will forever trap you in a life that's constantly trying to collapse. I know from personal experience that what we build without Him will just keep falling down.
As an example, let's say you've known me for several years, and we've always been transparent with each other. The last time we got together, I told you all about what God was doing in my life and how He was using me to influence people. And I remember how impressed you were.
But since that last meeting, I slipped back into my old lifestyle before Jesus—joined a local gang, started using and dealing drugs, got into petty theft and vandalism.
After becoming completely miserable and desperate, I come crying to you six months later with, “God has abandoned me!”
What would be your response? I seriously doubt that the first thing on your mind would be to hold my hand and encourage me. No… it's not like I didn't have it coming. I might try to pass it off as God not taking care of me, but I doubt you would let me get away with it.
So I'm forced to look at what I've been building my life on. After setting aside blame and shame and guilt... after an honest inspection of my life, I realize that I've been trying to please men rather than trying to please God. As I then begin to put things back together I'm aware of how important it is to build on the incredible faithfulness of God to me, as demonstrated by Jesus.
Of course, there are as many examples, of people building on the wrong foundation and then accusing God of abandoning them when it all falls down, as there are people in the world. We can each plug in our own real-life example.
For the short run, I know it is much easier to blame (or credit) God for our suffering. But it is never helpful when we are trying to put our lives back together.
God is never the variable. He is always faithful, even when we are unable or unwilling to believe it.
Have a good day,