Saturday, 18 January 2014

Foundations

My husband spent a couple of years building foundations. It’s a dirty job, one that doesn’t show up when the building is finished. No body pays attention to the foundation when looking at a house. Unless, of course, the foundation breaks! The foundation of the house we had lived in was starting to move under the house, and that was causing all sorts of problems. The floors were slanting, the windows were loose and letting in drafts, and one of the walls was literally (very slowly) falling over.
That house is over a hundred and fifty years old. I wasn't not surprised that it’s having foundation problems. There’s no point in fixing any of the other problems without fixing the foundation first. But, frankly, it is downright amazing that the house is still standing! The builders, 150 years ago, knew what they were doing.
He who built the house is worthy of more honor than the house that was built.
Jesus often compared our lives to a house. He also shared how we need a secure foundation for our lives. In His parable of the builders, the one who built on the rock, on a strong foundation, was called a wise builder.
Wisdom builds a strong foundation. The foundation isn’t the part of the home that’s seen, but it the most vital part. Even though it’s covered up after it’s laid down, we know from first hand experience that if something goes wrong with the foundation, a lot goes wrong with the rest of the building.
Upon what is your foundation laid on? A strong foundation lasts thru the storm. In the parable, the foolish builder built on sand, easy to build but when the storm came, his house collapsed around him. The wise builder chose the more difficult route, needing more effort, but his home withstood the storm’s battering.
Wisdom gives us peace of mind, security in life’s trials and confidence when faced with a challenge. James 5:16-17 tells us that the fruit of wisdom is peace.
Where do we get this wisdom? James 1 says if we lack wisdom, all we need to do is ask. God is the giver of all wisdom, the source of all wisdom. We may have information, knowledge, but we need God for the solutions, the answers to life’s questions.
Better builders build on what *is* right, not what seems right. When the foundation is strong, you can build anything, and it will last through everything!
So how do we build? Build on what is beneficial, not what is lawful. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says we have the right to do anything, but not everything is going to be the best, give us the most benefit or be the most constructive. The wise builder chooses the most beneficial, not just what is the minimum code. If we don’t skirt the bare minimum, staying just inside the line, but instead choose that which is not the letter but the spirit of the law, we will find a life that is abundant.
Build with boundaries, not rules. The right boundaries help accomplish the goals. Rules can be lifeless with poor attitudes, but boundaries promote good health. Proverbs 4:20-21 tells us that God’s Word is life and health to us. If we stay within the boundaries of God’s Word, and don’t burden ourselves with legalistic rules, we will build a life that is whole and healthy.
Build with restraint not abandonment. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Everything in the right quantity can be poisonous, even water, which is a necessity of life! Proverbs 25:16 describes someone who eats too much honey becoming sick. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. The wise builder has self-control, and doesn’t build extravagantly or over-detailed. Jesus described a builder that wanted to build a tower, but had to sit down and “count the cost”, to make sure he could complete what he started. This is self-control. If we can choose wisely, we will be available for God’s opportunity. We need learn to say the right ‘no’ so we can say the right ‘yes’.
Build with God’s wisdom every day. The rock our lives should be built on is the Word of God. With God’s help we will withstand the daily storms of life. How do we build on this rock? It’s about the basics – maintaining daily intimacy with God, through His word. Building also takes consistency, and good friends. Choosing carefully what we surround ourselves with will determine how well we build, but what we build on determines if what we build will last.
Build to last. Proverbs 10:25 tells us what will last: faithfulness, righteousness, justice. The future is in God’s hands, but today, we have the power to choose and impact. Will we be here when the world comes looking? And when they come looking, will we have built what they are looking for?
To build wisely, pay attention. Life can’t be lived on autopilot.

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