The Result Depends on the Foundation

  • Randy Karlberg
Leaning tower of Pisa

This summer I have had the pleasure of working on a construction project at my house with help from my son.   Working on a project where you need to ask questions, struggle through answers, fix mistakes, and see a finished result that you are proud of, is a very satisfying endeavor.  But doing it with my son is an even more meaningful accomplishment.  I won’t even bring up how many times this past week I remembered my own Dad working on a similar project with me at the same house several years ago.  That experience gave me such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction!  Now realizing this from the other end of the family line is very special indeed.  Plus we think it looks great!

But that is not what I wanted to write about.  I could not help pondering, as we slogged through this building process, a Biblical truth that is so simple and yet incredibly profound.  Some of the challenges that we faced in assembling this structure came because of decisions, or non-decisions, we had made at the foundational level.  We realized that if we wanted the rest of the project to work out as planned, we would have to take apart what had been progress, and shore up the foundational issue.  Not only the aesthetic aspect of the project, but also the solid structural fortitude was dependent on a firm and accurate foundation.

I could not help but be drawn to Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24-27 from the Sermon on the Mount.  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  This parable is so simple that a young child can understand.  If you build a structure on less than solid ground you will have issues at some point in time.  And that occasion is a storm or a crisis in life that comes along, often without warning, and devastates the beloved structure.

I personally know of several people who trusted that their homes were on solid footing.  And then without warning a 7.4 earthquake hits and devastates the foundation they were trusting in.  The option for most of them is to just start over.  This has been so difficult to watch families go through.  But how much more difficult it is to watch the foundation of people’s lives crumble due to an unforeseen storm or crisis leaving them devastated and panic-stricken.  These words from Jesus are speaking to the foundation of people’s lives!  We must realize that the condition and substance of the foundation of our lives, or said a different way, our worldview, have a direct impact on the condition of our life.  The wise person will honestly ask the question “what is the foundation of my life built upon?”  Is your life built on obedience to these words of Jesus which is referred to as the “rock?” 

This reference to Jesus and His words as the “rock” is all over the Bible.  Read through Psalm 18 where The Lord is referred to as “my rock, my strength, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield, and my salvation.”  Or turn to I Corinthians 10:4 that calls Jesus our “spiritual rock.”  One more in I Peter 2:8.  Here Jesus is not just referred to as the rock, He is called the “rock of offense.”  This passage not only calls believers to stand upon the rock of Jesus, but also to realize that Jesus will be seen by many as offensive.  People will disregard Jesus’ words and find them offensive to the foundation they have built their life upon.  It would behoove each of us to search our hearts and minds and honestly ask the question, “What am I basing the foundation of my life upon?”  Is it obedience to Christ and His words in the Bible?  Or is there part of God’s Word, including Jesus that at some point we find offensive?

This exercise in self- examination can happen through prayer and study of God’s word as one proceeds through the building process of life.  Or if not, the storms of life will come, and when they do, the strength of a person’s life foundation will be realized for what it truly is.  Let each of us ask the Lord to show us what we are actually building our lives upon.  My hope is that each of us will be steadfast in the Lord and His Word.