laying a solid foundation
“If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3 NKJV.
When you hear the word ‘foundation’ what comes to mind for you? As with a physical building, the foundation is the most important part of the structure. The strength of the foundation determines the type of structure it can hold. As you can imagine, the foundation for a single-family home will be very different from that of a high-rise. How far you want to go in life determines the sacrifices you will be required to make. Psalms 11:3 says, “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” I will think the only thing the righteous can do is to go back and relay a proper foundation, bearing in mind the end goal. If we are interested in going far with God, we must pay attention to the type of foundations we are laying.
As believers, our end goal on earth is to finish this rehearsal phase very well so that we can experience the real life in eternity with God. The ultimate destination for us is to spend eternity with the Father. If all we are engaged in now does not in any way prepare us for that ultimate life, then we may not be laying the right foundation right now.
The foundation of our faith is very important. This is something we must look after consciously and continuously. We should never get to a place where we think we are secured and mature enough and no longer need to look after the foundation of our faith. Disciplines such as daily time with the Lord in prayer and study of the word, fasting, gathering with other believers, obedience to God’s word, discipleship, are all things we never outgrow. As basic as some of these things are to our faith, when we begin to neglect or think little of them, we begin to open the door for little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).
Let’s examine what Jesus had to say about foundations. Jesus made it clear that we can’t pay lip service to Him. Our actions must match our words; if we call Him Lord and live a life contrary to His word, then we are building on a faulty foundation. The fruit we bear with our lives is a pointer to whose we are – good trees bear good fruits and bad trees bear bad fruits (Matt 7:15-20).
46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” - Luke 6:46 - 49
Did you get born again so long ago that your salvation experience no longer means much to you or do you still tremble at God’s mercy that saved you? As we grow in the Lord, so should our awe of His presence. We should grow in our intimacy and reverence for Him.
Several years ago, God used the story in Luke 7:36-47 to correct something foundational in my life. For a very long time, my depth of gratitude for my salvation was not as much as it such be because I didn’t think I had too many “scares” from my past life. It was as if I had almost taken that sacrifice on the cross for granted until the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my filth and shame before God’s grace saved me; not to embarrass or condemn me but to bring the needed correction to my life. We have no bragging right at all because even before we had the knowledge of good and evil, we were already guilty (Psalms 51:5). Let’s take some time to read this story from Luke 7:
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
I can tell you from experience that this single act of placing the highest value on my salvation experience drastically changed my entire relationship with God. Loving God much means we hold nothing back from Him – nothing is too big to lay at His feet. Remember the woman in this story poured the oil from her alabaster box on Jesus’ feet, not even His head or body. This was precious and expensive oil and she counted it an honour to pour it on the master’s feet.
2 Kings 19:30 “And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah Shall again take root downward, And bear fruit upward.”
We must never grow so big on the outside while our passion for God on the inside shrinks. Just like it is with structures or even the roots of plants, foundations are unseen. The activities that make up our foundation are not necessarily things people see us do but the results are always evident for others to see. Invest in your private life with the Lord. Let spending time in His presence be your highest priority and as He reveals Himself to you, follow His leading with prompt obedience.