What’s your foundation?
Author : John Johnstone
Whilst walking my daughter to school the other day, I spotted a yellow machine which I’d never seen before, parked beside a small derelict piece of land. I knew the owner of the land had been seeking permission to build 6 flats in the space, but couldn’t figure out what the equipment was for.
Of course, I couldn’t stop as we had exactly six minutes before the first bell sounded, so we sped past the curious sight. On the way back, I asked the workman what was going on. It transpired that it was a boring machine, and that in many parts of Kirkcaldy holes must be drilled before building work can commence to check that there are no mine shafts underneath, which would cause subsidence to any future property.
Apparently, the coal board’s records and maps of mines are notoriously incomplete, so drilling a hole is the best way to know for sure what lies underneath. Perhaps you are bored with this article already, but it got me thinking of the importance of foundations in our lives. It might be tempting to ignore foundations, but if a two storey flat suddenly became a one storey one, with a whole level disappearing into the earth, then that would be upsetting. Foundations must be checked. That’s a foundational truth.
How can we check our foundations as Christians? Were we to drill down into our hearts to investigate what was there, what would we find? One of the best things we could find would be obedience to God’s word. That might not be in vogue just now, and might not even be what you want to hear. Nonetheless, it’s what Jesus focuses on at the end of the most famous sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus teaches about all kinds of different things in the sermon, from how to pray to anger, and from the beatitudes to being salt and light. How does the sermon end? Jesus ends by speaking about foundations. He says that we want to build our lives on the rock and not the sand, which begs the question, what does it mean to build our house on the rock. Jesus tells us: ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’ (Matthew 7:4)
This is something easy to understand but hard to implement, because it involves the lifelong habit of soaking in God’s word, prayerfully meditating on what it means, and most of all, doing what it says. This necessitates daily repentance and faith, as we read of things the Lord would have us do but we are not doing. The alternative, however, is a life built on sand, which will not stand up to the storms.
If you’re not a Christian yet, it’s crucial that you too drill down into your hearts to see what your foundation is. Who or what are you ultimately relying on? What are you living for? Money is not a sensible foundation, as it does not bring lasting happiness and we cannot take it with us when we pass from this world to the next. You might live for your work, but one day you will retire, and what then. We want a foundation which is true and lasting.
Any Christian will tell you that Jesus Christ himself is the only true and lasting foundation we can have. Once, some of Jesus’ followers were deserting him, and he asked the disciples if they were going to abandon him too. Simon Peter answered with great wisdom: ‘Lord, to whom else shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’ (John 6:68-69)
What makes Jesus the best and only option as a foundation for our lives? Well, only he has died on the cross so that those who trust in him can be forgiven. Only he had conquered death and risen again. Only he loves us with a perfect love. Only he promises to be with us in this life and the life to come. And only he able to take us to Heaven. I don’t want any other foundation – only Jesus Christ. He invites you to put your trust in him. What’s your foundation?