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When you build a home, you must start with a foundation. That only makes sense. Right? After all, what happens to the building if you don’t have a foundation or if you build upon a weak one? It may stand for a brief period of time, but as soon as a strong wind comes along – WHAM! Down it goes
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #58, and in this episode, we will not only discover the importance of building your spiritual life on the right foundation, but how to successfully and effectively do that in a way that truly glorifies God.
Pause for a moment and think about the house (or apartment) where you currently live. If you were asked to describe it, what would you say? You might decide to talk about its location, the size of the lot it sits on and the kind of neighborhood its in. More than likely, you’d mention the number of bedrooms and bathrooms it has; possibly even its color, design, and square footage. But you probably wouldn’t talk about its foundation. Truth be told, the likelihood of the foundation even crossing your mind is slim to none. Am I right? And yet, it is the foundation of your home that makes all the difference in the world.
Do you remember the children’s story of the Three Little Pigs? Two of them chose to build their homes out of straw and sticks. Oh, they wonderful homes to look at – if you’re a pig that is. They even remained standing for a brief period of time. However, as soon as a strong wind came along, down they went.
The purpose of a foundation is to support the entire structure that is built upon it. If you don’t build on a foundation or if you build on one that is in shifting soil, the structure will begin to sink into the ground. The floors will sag, the walls will crack and the whole house will eventually crumble. The ground you are building upon must also be able to support the structure or it won’t matter what kind of foundation you build upon.
In Matthew 7, Jesus speaks about two types of builders. He said: “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. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
So, I have a question for you. Which kind of home would you want to live in: one built on a weak foundation, or one built upon a strong one? Seems like a silly question. After all, what sane person would want to live in a house built on a poor foundation? And yet way too often, way too many of us are content living our lives built upon a poor, weak spiritual foundation.
The truth is life can be hard. If you expect to stay standing in the midst of the storms of life that constantly bombard you on every front, you need to be planted firmly on a foundation that will not fail – one that runs deep into spiritually solid rock.
Let’s just sit here and dream for a moment. What would it be like to live the rest of your life built on a solid spiritual foundation that will never shake, rattle or roll? Wouldn’t you love to live your life secure in the knowledge that absolutely no storm, no matter how intense, could ever destroy you? I know I can’t put words into your mouth, but I’m going to assume your answer is a loud and boisterous “YES!” Am I right?
Well, let me challenge you – don’t ever lose sight of the fact that as a Christian, the most important thing you could ever do is to know God and live in a way that always brings honor and glory to Him. In order to live that kind of life – even in the worst of storms – you must build that life into a solid, spiritual foundation; God’s foundation.
Before ever going high, you must first go deep. You see, when you build your life deep into God’s foundation, that life is guaranteed to stand firm at all times. 2 Timothy 2:19 assures us that “God’s solid foundation stands!”
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t have storms in life. However, it does mean that when you build your life upon a growing relationship with God, those storms – when they come, and they will come – will never take you down. That is God’s promise to you.
The question then is this: What is the foundation we should build our godly lives upon, and how do we start building on it? The answer is both simple and complex. You see, YOU don’t have to try to lay this foundation. The foundation has already been laid in the person of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:11 that “no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” And in Isaiah 28:16 we read, “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” (NLT)
So, the question I want you to focus on is not what is the foundation, rather, what am I doing right now – this very moment – to build upon that foundation? How am I growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ?
There’s an old hymn of the faith that is worth visiting here. Listen closely and let this great truth of the faith sink deep into your soul.
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
“When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Ok, now I have a doosey of a question for you. Ready? Here it is: Are you a Wise Man or a Moron? How’s that for a question? Does it intrigue you or offend you? Jesus sure had a way of doing that to people. You see, He asked that very question – are you a wise man or a moron? – in Matthew 7’s account of the two builders, which I just read to you a few moments ago.
In Matthew 7 Jesus introduces us to 2 men, Wally and Martin (names I decided to make up for the sake of this study by the way). Wally is a wise man, and Martin is – well, Martin’s a moron. Oh, that’s not my description of Martin, It’s Jesus’.
Now, I’m willing to wager that if you picked up your Bible right now and read through Matthew 7:24-27, you will not find the word “moron” there. But I assure you, it is! You see, Jesus called Martin a “foolish” man. That word “foolish” comes from the Greek word “moros.” Yup, you guessed it, it’s the same as our English word “moron.” And it means exactly what you would expect the word to mean – one who is stupid, a blockhead, a very foolish man.
So, who are these two guys? What are they building? What makes Wally a wise man and Martin a moron? Enquiring minds want to know!
The first thing we need to focus on is the magnitude of their building project. They weren’t assembling a really cool treehouse or an ice fishing shanty or duck blind. They were building a very important structure which Jesus called their “house.” In other words, both of these guys were deeply involved in a life-building project.
This wasn’t a fly-by-night, do it on a whim, slap it together over a weekend kind of thing. This was an I’m-all-in, do-or-die project. Their goal wasn’t simply to construct a comfy vacation bungalow somewhere in the Hamptons. They weren’t building something just for themselves. It was to be a heritage for their kids – a legacy they hoped would last well into the future. They were building their lives.
In a few moments, we will discover together just what made Martin a moron and Wally wise. But for right now keep in mind that Martin wasn’t just throwing a few sticks together with spit, chewing gum and a ball of twine and saying – voila, there is my life! He wasn’t going through the building process thinking, “Oh, this is just a temporary thing. I know that right around the corner lurks a big bad wolf who is going to come along and huff and puff, and when he blows, everything I’ve worked for all my life will come crashing down around me.”
He didn’t shrug his shoulders and say, “Eh, no big deal. When it does collapse, I’ll just pick up the pieces of my life and start all over again.” No! He was just as intent on building a life that would leave a lasting legacy as was his wise counterpart. Both Martin and Wally were working toward the same goal.
Now pause with me for a moment and think about this. You and I strongly resemble the builders of Matthew 7. Every day, whether we realize it or not, we are building into our lives as well. Every day we make decisions that impact our lives and affect those around us. Every choice we make today determines the path we are going to go down tomorrow, and the heritage we will leave behind when we are gone.
Most of the time we don’t pause long enough to consider that the things we choose to do (or not do) today are literally molding our future and setting a course that will influence the lives of everyone we care about. Not only do Wally and Martin share this similarity, but you and I have at least this one thing in common with both of them. We are all life-builders.
The second similarity Wally and Martin shared is this: they both lived in the same neighborhood and probably knew each other. I say that because Jesus said they both encountered the exact same horrific storm that attacked their houses (their lives). Christ said, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house.” (Matthew 7:25, 27)
This was no mild mid-summer thunderstorm. They didn’t sit out on the back deck with an iced tea in hand and watch the clouds darken while complaining about their lumbago. The storm that ransacked their neighborhood was more like a class-five hurricane with a couple of tornadoes thrown in. That particular storm packed such a punch that it put untold stress on both of their lives. It bore down on both of them with unbearable force and they were powerless to do anything about it.
You and I will also face multiple storms in life- each one intent on destroying us. Sometimes we will get rained on. I’m not talking about droplets of moisture that fall from the sky – I’m referring to those tiny little situations (dare I say annoyances?) that in and of themselves don’t amount to much, just a pesky drop here and there that we could definitely do without, but can tolerate. However, when they start hitting you all at once you find yourself diving for cover. Every so often the rain will fall on your life with a vengeance; how will you hold up under the barrage? The choices and decisions you make today will determine your answer when the storm comes tomorrow.
Sometimes, with the rain comes the flood. I’m talking about those situations in life that seem to swell up on you suddenly and then tend to just sit there, weighing heavily on you, drowning out everything you value. They just take over. You wonder if it will ever end, when it will go away. You feel a damp sadness creep over you, bordering on cold despair as it leaves sludge and destruction in its wake. The floods of life WILL come, my friend; you can count on it. The choices and decisions you make today will determine how you respond when it rises up all around you tomorrow.
And then there is the wind. This isn’t a slight breeze we’re talking about. I’m referring to the times when you get slammed, seemingly out of nowhere. You never saw it coming. This is the major surprise that hits you hard, relentlessly pressing in on you. You stagger back from the blast, barely able to keep your footing. You search for something (or someone) solid to grab hold of because you are unable to anchor yourself. You know if you don’t find purchase soon, it’s going to blow you far, far away. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced these winds before. And you will experience them again. The choices and decisions you make today will determine how solidly you stand against the wind tomorrow.
The question for you is: Are you doing the Word? Are you, moment-by-moment, day-by-day choosing to do what God says? If you construct your life according to Christ’s building codes, and if you dig deep into solid rock, you will not be disappointed.
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com.
One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God.” This book takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart.
Jesus said, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33) Your thoughts bear fruit: your behavior. When you train your mind to think godly thoughts, the fruit of your life – the things you do day in and day out – will be godly. On the flip side, when you allow your mind to think sinful, fleshly, ungodly thoughts, the fruit of your life (your daily attitudes and actions) will be ungodly. So, how do I change the way I think? How do I change the things I do? How do I successfully and effectively guard my heart? This book, “Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you into God’s Word to help you answer those questions.
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.