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What we build on is important. You can’t just erect a house on any old thing. You wouldn’t want to just build it directly on top of dirt. Perhaps that’s how it was done when people didn’t know any better, but we’ve learned a few things the hard way over time. No, you first need to lay a good, solid, firm foundation. THEN, you can start to build the framework.
On this episode, we’ll deal with this concept as it relates to both our country and our lives as Christians. We will see that a foundation of lies is like quicksand – nothing can stand for long on that. But a foundation of truth is firm, and you won’t be moved or shaken when troubles come.
So, stick around. I’m Stace Massengill, and THIS is the Kingdom Hero Show…
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Over the years of my life, I have worked a great variety of jobs. One of my least favorites was when I helped install septic systems. There’s not a lot of glory in a job like that. It’s dirty, back-breaking, and – did I mention? – dirty. But I did learn a lot while doing it. I was in a lot of new neighborhoods where new houses were being built, so I got to see the very beginnings of the construction work. If you’ve ever built a home or other building, it goes without saying that having a solid foundation is key.
The bigger the building, the more crucial the foundation is. Pouring the cement, smoothing it out in a timely manner while it’s drying, and forming it into a usable concrete slab – that’s a lot of hard work! And it’s not exactly a glamourous job, either. But the people who do it usually get paid quite well. That’s because the foundation is one of the most important parts of the building. It doesn’t get seen and admired, but it’s necessary to all the other parts that do get seen and admired.
Now, why is this so important? Well, you could just throw something together without a firm foundation. In the military, I learned to build a lean-to out of crude materials you can find in the woods – just put a few branches here, a few leaves and mud and pine-straw there, and boom. You’ve got yourself a nifty little temporary structure that might or might not keep the rain off of you. But it’s not gonna last long. A good gust of wind may blow it away, a wild animal could tear it down, or any number of things could utterly destroy it in very short order. That’s not something I’d wanna live in.
And I know you’re probably familiar with the story of the wise man who built his house on a rock, and the foolish man who built his house on sand. Things didn’t work out too well for the guy who built on top of sand, did it? Sand isn’t stable – it shifts and moves about under pressure. Think about it. Have you ever walked on a beach by the ocean? You can feel the sand under your feet shifting around just from the weight of you walking on it. Imagine how unstable that would be if the weight of an entire house was placed on it.
I know, this is elementary stuff, right? Sure, but these simple concepts sometimes seem to escape us. I mean, how many times have you seen a marriage or other relationship fall apart because it was built carelessly on things that are shallow or unstable. Foundation is key for lots of things. Buildings, relationships, and definitely our walk with God. Without the proper footing beneath us, we can easily slip and fall. And in our relationship with God, well now, that’s gotta be built on the firmest of foundations – the Rock that is Jesus Christ Himself.
On this show, I talk a lot about truth. Whatever the topic is, I have to rely heavily on the truth I know to keep things in the right perspective. In that way, truth is the foundation upon which I build a discussion. And truth is the tool I use to reach the proper conclusions. Without truth to build on, the discussion will fall apart and amount to nothing. I’d just be wasting your time and mine. But not everyone chooses to build on something as stable and immutable as the truth. No, some people like to live on the wild side – their foundation is one of lies.
But a foundation of lies is like trying to walk on top of quicksand. You very quickly start to sink, and you get deeper the more you struggle to free yourself. People who build their lives around lies have to work a lot harder, too. And that’s not a good thing. Ever notice that, in order to maintain one lie, you usually have to tell another lie? And then another, and another… Pretty soon, all you have a web of lies that’s easy to get tangled up in. You end up tripping over one lie while trying to keep another lie from being found out. It’s exhausting! —Not that I’ve ever done that myself.
Truth, on the other hand, stand on its own. You don’t have to try to support it when it’s true – it just stands there, SOLID. Yeah, like a ROCK! If I tell the truth – which I always do (snicker) – then I don’t have to remember what I said. Make up a lie, and you might forget it. But the truth is always the truth. That’s a pretty solid foundation. That’s something you can build on.
What’s one of the biggest problems with a very large number of politicians? You got it – their tendency to lie. I mean, it’s what they’re notorious for, right? When someone mentions politicians, you usually think of these dishonest people who make phony campaign promises to get votes and lie through their teeth every time they speak, don’t you? And such a person as that has basically become addicted to the power of their office, corrupted by greed, and lies are their first language.
That sounds an awful lot like one of the descriptions of satan, doesn’t it? He is referred to as “the father of lies.” One passage says that when he lies he is speaking his native tongue. But while it’s easy to point fingers at crooked politicians, or even at the devil, we tend to gloss over or excuse our own lies. But those lies, however harmless they may seem, can be insidious. If we give satan any foothold in our lives, he will exploit it. One little lie can lead to another, and another, until we find ourselves in quicksand. And the enemy will destroy you if he can, starting with a weakening of your foundation.
I’ve often noted that our country was founded upon Godly principles. The biblical values held by the vast majority of our founding fathers was what formed the foundation of America. The fact that she has stood for so long is a tribute to the wisdom of those biblical principles she was built on. But our government, however nobly intended, is still run by fallible men and women. And that once solid foundation is becoming more and more unstable year after year. It’s being chipped away at by corrupt people who want to remold it into something other than the constitutional republic that has assured freedom for more than two centuries.
The more they jack-hammer that foundation, the closer it gets to crumbling beneath the weight of oppression and tyranny. And why? Why would anyone want to destroy the very foundation under our feet? Precisely because it IS Godly in nature. They’re rejection of those founding principles are in fact a rejection of scripture – a rejection of God’s Word. I’m not trying to equate our founding documents with the Bible, understand. I’m merely pointing out that those documents are full of biblical truths and precepts, and THAT is what these people are rejecting.
This is the very foundation that has kept us strong and thriving. It has ensured our liberties. It has kept tyranny at bay. It has protected the rights of the people from being infringed upon by the government. And yet those who are foolish enough to do so are actually trying to tear it down in some misguided attempt to remake it in their image – in their idea of it ought to be. Essentially, they are cutting of the nose in spite of the face.
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What makes a foundation stable? Firmness. Durability. Being able to withstand all the pressure and weight of that which is built on top of it. A small structure only needs a foundation strong enough to support a little. A larger building, like a skyscraper, needs a much stronger foundation. What about a nation? Obviously, the foundation has to be seriously strong in order to support something as monumental as an entire country, its infrastructure, and its people. And that’s the foundation that so many have been trying to undo here in the USA for a very long time.
What’s an even more pressing concern is what this does to the people. When a country goes against the will of God, its people suffer for it. The moral decay that has been allowed to exist and spread like a cancer for so long is threatening to eat away at the very soul of America. Homeless people are being neglected in our streets – where’s their American dream? Innocent unborn babies are being barbarically butchered in the womb – where’s their safe space? These atrocities and others go on right under our very noses, and we just go on like it’s what? No big deal?
You might say, “Oh come on, that stuff has been happening forever.” Well, an awful lot of evil can happen when “good” people sit by and do absolutely nothing to prevent it. Don’t we then share in the blame? Feeding the hungry, comforting the weary, praying for the sick, speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves – are these things really so hard to do? If so, then why? What have you built your life upon? Are you committed to God’s principles? Does His love and grace flow from you to those around you? If not my friends, then perhaps we should check ourselves.
I’ll say it again… What we build on is important. Are our lives built on the firm foundation of God’s Word? If so, then we ought to be making a difference in this world – by our actions and by our words. Are we getting tangled up in our own proclivities? Do we claim Christianity in name only rather than living it out? Are we letting Jesus be our example, or are we fashioning our lives to resemble someone else? Are we holding fast to the truth and rebuking the lies?
1 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
If you really want to firm up your foundation, study this passage. It’s full of goodies. It speaks of walking blamelessly, doing what’s right, speaking truth, not slandering, doing no evil, not holding a grudge, despising what is vile and honoring those who revere God, committing to follow through even if it hurts, and – look at this – not even charging interest on a loan, and refusing bribery. These are all attributes of someone who has a firm foundation in God’s Word and will NOT be moved, swayed, or otherwise deterred.
I don’t know about you, but I would love for such words to describe me and my walk with the Lord. But it doesn’t just happen. Much like that concrete slab we looked at earlier, it takes a lot of effort and hard work. It takes commitment. And it takes a willingness to trust God with those details that we usually want to put our own hands on. We get bogged down in the details way too often. We ask ourselves questions like, “How can I even make a difference anyway?” – “What if I fail?” – “How do I know that person is really homeless and not running a scam?” – or one of my personal favorites, “Can’t someone else do it?”
[clip – Homer: “Can’t someone else do it?”]
When we let those silly questions consume us, we tend to end up doing nothing. Best to not even go there. Just commit to doing good, pray about it, and let God point out opportunities to fulfill His will. Intentionally look and listen. Put in the work, and let God bless it. Read His Word and let Him bring it to life within you. Meditate on it. And walk it out. The more you do this, and the more time you spend seeking God and His will, the more firm your foundation will become. It’s not gonna happen without work.
Sometimes people can mistakenly think that all they have to do is maybe read a little scripture here and there, or go to church once in a while, or anything else that gives them a sense of doing their part. I’ve heard people say, “Well, I’ve been in church for a while now, and I think I know a thing or two about God’s will.” But that’s actually the problem. Too many times, we only know a thing or two and think we know it all. There’s a lot more to it than that, just like there’s more to laying a foundation than dumping out a little cement.
Let’s look a little more closely at that story of the wise man and the foolish man we mentioned before. And remember, this is Jesus talking…
47 “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been founded upon the rock. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
You see, it’s the wise man who hears the words of Jesus and DOES them. And it’s the foolish man who hears those words and does NOT do them. Our foundation has to be the words of Jesus. We must hear them AND do them. Otherwise, our foundation will be weak or non-existent, and our house – our very lives – will fall. And this passage emphasizes that it won’t just be ruined, but greatly ruined.
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Ask yourself this… “Am I firmly founded on the Rock? Am I following and living out the words and instructions of Jesus?” If you’ve struggled to make your life into something and find yourself falling short, is it because you’re trying to build on a shaky or faulty foundation? What are you building on? Anything less than the truth of God’s Word, and it might as well be shifting sand.
1 Corinthians 3
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Paul was speaking of the church which is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. No other foundation will do. Further down, he says what others build on it will be tested by fire, and…
14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Now, what I find interesting is that right after Paul speaks of the importance of having Jesus as our foundation, he goes on to speak of us as being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit…
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
This sheds new light on our need for a good foundation in our lives. If we ourselves are to be the temple for God’s Spirit, then we certainly wouldn’t build Him some shoddy old rickety shack to live in. No, we’d want to build Him a glorious place worthy of His Presence. And since we, within ourselves, are completely unworthy, we can only be made worthy through Jesus!
With the words of Jesus written on our hearts, and with our own commitment to carrying out His commands, we lay that firm foundation for our lives. That is something we can build upon, and the Bible is our blueprint for constructing lives befitting as children of God.
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