– Dennis Loots
What is the foundation that you are building your life on?
What is it, at the end of the day, that you trust in and are committed to?
I am interested in and fascinated by really tall buildings. I was recently in a place where I saw the second highest building in the entire world. It was a great feat of engineering.
The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It is 163 storeys high, 860 metres tall, almost a kilometre high up in the air. The second tallest building, in terms of actual floors and storeys, is in Shanghai China, The Shanghai Tower. It has 121 storeys, and is very famous because of the hole in the middle, right near the top. Again, a tremendous feat of engineering. The third tallest building is the Abraj Al-Bait in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It was finished in 2012, with 120 storeys. There are plans afoot to build buildings even taller. These are some of the incredible buildings that people come to see and visit from all over the world.
However, even more than what you see on the outside, is what you don’t see on the inside, and that is the foundation.
Having a building as high and tall as any of these towers requires a huge feat of engineering beneath the ground as well. If you don’t get that right, it will not take long for the outside tower to fall and crumble. Often times, people take shortcuts to try lightening the load and maximising the profits. If you don’t get the foundations right, your building will be in trouble. The same principle applies in our lives as human beings.
If we plan to have some kind of life that means something, is going somewhere, and has some kind of destiny, we need to put the time and effort in to make sure that we have a solid foundation.
Scripture says that is important that we have a firm foundation in the Word. The question that I have been struggling with is “what are the essentials for a firm Christian foundation” for me to live a Godly life, to minister to my church, my family, and my children? What do I need to have settled in my life, so that when the storms come in life, like they do on all these tall buildings, the rains and winds, that my foundation is firm like the house built on the rock in Matthew 7.
Paul the Apostle, at the end of his life, upon facing execution, looks back on his life and says: “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12.
Whatever stage of life you are in right now, how are you building? What is the foundation that you are laying down?
1st Corinthians advises us to take heed on what we build our foundation. According to the grace of God, which was given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Whatever strife may come our way in the years to come, we should come back to the foundation that we have formed and that we stand firm on. I have outlined four buildings blocks that I believe contribute to and form the basis of what we should build the rest of our lives on:
1. There is a God and He loves me.
This may sound basic and elementary, but I suspect that amongst many Christians, there are times and seasons in peoples’ lives when they experience doubts in their own circumstances. The message of scripture is that God loves us, and if we wish to have some hope, this is what we should always turn to. We increasingly live in a society where that statement is questioned and ridiculed. People go out of their ways and are committed to disproving the existence of God. People are left with their faith destroyed.
Even in our political circles, there is an increasing tendency to live, to govern, and to legislate as if there is no God, and as if there is no accountability one day.
As believers, no matter what we may experience, and no matter what anyone may throw at this, this is what we stand on. There is a God, a God who created everything, who rules over everything, who everyone will be accountable to one day. I gladly bow my knee, submit my life, open my heart and say Lord you are my God, and I worship no other God besides you. Amazingly, this great God of the universe, who created everything there is, loves me, and loves you, more than we can ever begin to comprehend.
So when the trials of life come, as we know they will, we need to come back to the same place in our foundation and always remember and know that there is a God, and He loves us. We don’t have all the answers, we can’t explain everything, but what we do know is that God loves us. Regardless of what the world may throw at us, we can stand on that.
2. There is a Saviour and He died for me.
We have a Saviour, His name is Jesus. As we know in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Jesus paid for your and my sins. We live in a sinful world. What is wrong with us? What is wrong with the world? What is wrong with mankind? It is sin. Mankind, given over to sin, is capable of anything.
We should know in our hearts that there is a Saviour, and He died for us. In his death on the cross, He conquered sin and He bought our forgiveness. He made Grace possible. When the enemy comes to accuse, and my own sense of who I am floods in at times, I return to my saviour and I know: Lord, You are my saviour, You died for me, and my sins have been paid for. Whatever else may come along, nothing can change it. He died for me, and He died for you as well, that we may have everlasting life.
3. There is a Book, and it encourages me.
You can read whatever you choose. Some people fly all over the world to attend seminars about how to live their lives successfully, and all the latest self-help teachings and so on. Some of those things, in certain contexts, may be useful, but all of us have a Book, or we have access to a Book, and the words of this Book are the words of God. 2 Timothy says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
In this Book, God has given great promises, so that as we face the realities of life, we can hear the Word of God to carry us through. If you need forgiveness, this is where you are told you have it. If you need comfort, this is where we are told we have it. It is a Book that brings us comfort, and is a wonderful thing that God has left for us. That is why we encourage people all the time. We need to instil the habit of making God’s Word a part of our lives, so that when the trials comes, we have the Word of God that speaks. This is unchanging, and encourages us.
4. There is a destiny, and it fills us with joy.
There is a destiny, and we don’t know when we are going to go there, but all of us will go there. All of us will go through life. It has been said that from the minute we are born, we are dying. We are in the process. We are heading there whether we want to hear that or not. But for the believer, there is a destiny. Jesus encouraged his disciples the last time he met with them and said: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” –John 14:1-3
My favourite verse that I often quote is 1st Corinthians 2:9: “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”
There is a destiny. Whatever the news may be tomorrow, whether it is personal, national or international, whatever may come along in the future, this is the foundation upon which we should build, God has a destiny for us, and this anchors us, and gives us hope.
Someone once said, for the believer, its not so much the present that affects the future, but it is the future that affects the present. When we have settled our destiny, once we have trusted in Christ and he has done his work in our lives, and adopted us into his family, the destiny is settled and we can get on with the business with living the life that God has given us, as a gift.
In 100 years time, perhaps fewer, some of those fancy buildings will be broken down and something else may be built in their place. Our lives are destined for eternity. I want to ask you what foundation are you building on? There may be some who have never surrendered and submitted their lives to God, and their foundation is built on the sand. Our foundation needs to be in Christ, our rock.
There is a God, and He loves you. There is a saviour, and He died for you. There is a Book, and it encourages you. And there is a destiny that fills you with hope. Claim that for yourself.