Our Foundation: Rock versus Sand
After Bible studies one night in prison, one of the inmates was ready to be baptised, or so he thought, and we went through specific scriptures. Later that night he had a dream. The dream impressed upon him to find a rock; he had to find a rock. When he told me the dream, I interpreted that as him needing more instruction and revelation about Jesus Christ, the eternal Rock, and be baptised in the Holy Spirit. We prayed about it, and over the coming weeks, we went through scriptures about Jesus, focussing on the reason why he is called the Rock.
How important is the Rock in our lives?
All other foundations for life wash away from under us either in this life or the day of judgment. We think our foundation is solid until we get rocked by a crisis. It is only in calamity do we find out what our foundation is made of. We don't realise how important our foundation is until we meet with trouble bigger than we are.
Jesus gave us a great timeless parable about our foundation which is important for us in these troubled times.
Matthew 7:24-27 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, "I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The passage goes beyond verse 27, explaining about the foolishness of having sandy foundations. Next time you are at the beach or river, take note of the way the water washes the sand away. The wrong foundations work just like that.
There is a saying that trouble comes in three's. Jesus uses three degrees here.
1.“The rain descended” (Rain does not disturb our foundation but is the stimulus.) The type of rain Jesus spoke about is preceded by a few drops and dark clouds. When rain is "bucketing down" the tell-tale signs always comes first. We see the warning signs and race out to get to clothes off the line, put the electrical tools away and close the car and house windows. But what do we do when the rain of trouble comes that shakes our faith and we get the warning signs? Do we act as quickly? Do we get on our knees and pray? Do we seek God’s forgiveness…for anything? Do we seek his emergency guidance? Or do we wait and see what comes?
2 .”The floods came”(this is the stuff that disturbs our very foundation.)
(1 Cor 3:11,"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.")
If our foundation is not Jesus Christ, if it is the sand of another god, or money, or family, or our job, or organisations we belong to, it will certainly be washed away, leaving us bewildered as to what just happened. Our confidence is washed away with it.
If our foundation is Jesus Christ, our faith cannot be washed away into oblivion.
Floods work in different ways. Some wash banks away slowly as they flow past, others seem to tear at the sides of great hills pulling buildings, foundations and people into their murderous torrents, while others again pour in like Tsunami's bulldozing everything in their path. What is left? Even some great rocks get dislodged, leaving us wondering if anything is safe in this world.
The one thing that is safe is Jesus Christ, who is never unsettled from his place. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and gives us a ‘rock-solid’ guarantee!
3.”the winds blew”(this is what disturbs what we have built on the foundations.)
We build careers, use our gifts and talents, become ‘someone’ and get to a place where our lives look good. Then, for whatever reason, some of it comes tumbling down. Where is your faith when this happens to you? Are you weeping in a foetal position as if your very life has been stolen or do you recover quickly and manage to walk on?
We have seen many testimonies of people having great careers, even in the church, only to leave Christ altogether because of some major issue. Faithful Job lost everything. The “winds blew” but his faith wasn’t moved from its foundation.
Nearly every family has suffered from the winds of life. Rarely does a family escape. Look back through the Bible and see nearly all our heroes of faith endured turbulent times as we do today. It robbed them of lives, friends, family and goods, but not their faith.
If our “house” — the building we are creating for the Holy Spirit, is only loosely tied to the foundation, it will be blown away. Also, if the foundation is anything but Christ, it will be like a ‘floater', one of those rocks which make their way to the surface in a paddock, and which can be loosened easily.
Job 14:1 says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” Of all people, Job would know.
Though very few of us live lives like Job, some have certainly suffered elements of it, losing family, income and homes. The human life is indeed one where troubles come frequently and in many ways, and all we want to do is escape it. Perhaps you have thoughts of living on a tropical island with the sand, sun and surf, with the closest trouble 2000 kilometres away? Yeah, I know that dream well and have thought it many times!
The Lord has not called us to a selfish life like that but places us amongst people. Our rock-solid faith tells them that whatever rains and winds beat upon our house, they cannot move our foundations. It is our faith that shows others that the Lord Jesus Christ can be trusted.
Further, if our foundation is Christ the Rock, then he owns that parcel of land. The day we decide to build on Jesus Christ — to have him as the foundation for all we do — is the day we sell ourselves and build properly on his land, on his Rock. From then on, we are tenants owning nothing. Jesus is a trustworthy landlord who designs and helps build our real ‘house.’ One which can never be shaken free, regardless of the storm.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I have lost things over time but have tried to keep my faith solid. Please lead me to the place where I will not be moved regardless of the wind, rain and floods.