Matthew 7:24 (NKJV) 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
This week we are examining our foundations. In our study of favor, we have learned that certain things will draw favor to our lives. One of them is a good foundation. God cannot bring us favor if we are not stable in our walk with God. We will never be stable in our walk with God if we do not have a good foundation. Yesterday we looked at the nature and value of a good foundation. Today I want to talk about the materials with which we build.
Foundation building materials, like foundations themselves, do not tend to be very exciting. Where I live, we usually build our foundations out of cement and cement blocks. The blocks are gray and rough. The cement is gray and messy. When it is wet, it looks like grayish mud. It is not pretty. You do not choose textures or colors for your foundation. You cannot compromise the foundation based on ascetics. Foundation materials are what they are because they have to be those things. You cannot change them.
Foundations always stay the same. You may remodel your house. You may paint or wallpaper the walls. You may put in carpet or wood flooring. You might even remove walls and change the configuration of the house. We can get excited about these things. Still, the foundation must stay the same.
If the foundation is compromised, we must fix it. We have to use the same kind of foundational materials. We will see no change in the look of the house. There may be a choice of materials, but they will all be “foundational” in nature and by default less than exciting. Nevertheless, if we do not fix the foundation and fix it correctly, whatever we do in terms of the “fun” things will be a waste of time because the house may fall down.
One thing that is a real problem in our Christian walk is the tendency to want to take truths that are not foundational and try to build them into our foundation. Many years ago, I heard some teaching on things like prosperity, healing and successful living. At the time, these were things I thought should be true but had never heard expressed. I believe these were things the church needed to understand. They are in the bible. They are just not foundational in nature.
Some people began to build their foundation on prosperity or healing. Some made successful living a foundational truth in their lives. These are important and wonderful things that the bible says we can have but when we try and make them foundation they simply do not work well. You cannot build a physical foundation out of wood or sheetrock. You need those things to finish the house but if you try to use them for foundation your house will not be stable and it will be liable to fall.
We have a family in the church that was given some bad advice by someone they trusted. They bought a house that needed foundation work. A contractor told them about a new foundation system that used treated lumber instead of cement and block. It was much cheaper. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The contractor put in the wood foundation but did not do it just right. The foundation was fine until we had a season that was unusually wet. Then we had the 2011 flooding. These things exposed the flaws in the concept. The foundation had to be completely redone with the right materials.
Even though it seemed that this wood system was viable, it had to be done in a very specific way. The reason is that wood is not a foundation material in the Northeastern United States. If you build a foundation out of cement and block, you may make small mistakes and it will not matter because the materials are right for the job. We need to examine what materials we are using to build our spiritual foundation. If we use the wrong materials, we are going to have problems.
What should we use to build our spiritual foundation? If healing and prosperity are not foundational truths, what truths are foundational. We see one of them in today’s scripture. Jesus told them to build on hearing and doing the things he had just preached to them. We need to build on the principles in the Word of God.
The Sermon on the Mount is a very basic teaching on Christian living. It speaks of things like prayer, integrity, servanthood and trust in God. It promises that God will meet our daily needs but only if we seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. Which of these things is foundation? Seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness is a foundation truth. God meeting our needs is a result of having the right foundation. (Matthew 6:33)
God will meet your needs. That is a promise, but not a foundation stone. When you try to build on God meeting your needs, you will get out of balance and you will cultivate the wrong attitudes. When things do not work out as smoothly as you might like, you will become offended and discouraged. However, if you build on seeking the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, you will automatically have the right priorities and attitudes and you will automatically have your needs met.
Jesus also says your needs will be met because the Father knows what you need and he loves you more than the birds or the flowers. (Matthew 6:38-32) He loves his children more than anything else. He is your Father! The love of the Father for his children is foundational. If you build on that, you know that God will take care of you not matter what it may look like. Paul had this kind of foundation.
Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV) 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul faced tremendous trials in his life. If he tried to build his foundation on God’s meeting his every need when he thought it should be met, he would have lived in perpetual discouragement. That was not the case because the foundation truth in this section of scripture is the reality of the love of God in his life. Whether or not he faced trials was not a factor. In every trial he could boldly say that he was “more than a conqueror” because he knew God’s love meant he was never abandoned.
Take a look at what your life is built upon today. Have you been building with the right materials in the right place. I believe in things like prosperity, success and healing. I just do not try to build my foundation with them. They are like the paint and wallpaper. I would not want to live in a house that just had cement block walls. I also would not want to live in a house with a wallpaper foundation. We need both, but they have to be in the right proportions and in the right place.