I don’t know about you, but I enjoy looking at nice homes along the road. Beautiful brick patterns. Unique roof pitches. Fancy windows. It’s fun to admire such homes, but there’s something I never look at — the foundation.
Every beautiful home needs a solid foundation. But we never pay attention to foundations. Instead, we marvel at what meets the eye. We gasp in amazement at the brick walls, but we don’t even consider the foundation holding those walls up.
Our culture cares more about looks than legitimacy. This is most obvious in our perception of people, including ourselves. We often base those perceptions on appearance rather than foundation. As a result, we’re deceived into toxic relationships and find it difficult to live consistently with ourselves. We don’t know who we are.
However, God cares more about legitimacy than looks. Before Samuel anoints Israel’s king, God says, “‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart’” (1 Sam. 16:7 ESV). God is all about foundation. In His eyes, inward stability is more valuable than outward appearance.
Despite this, we often focus on outward appearance. We worry about the way things appear to others. Instead, we should be worried about the legitimacy of our decisions as they pertain to God’s Word.
If we refuse to recognize the importance of our foundations, then we’re living fake lives. And when we’re living fake lives, we’re compromising what God desires to accomplish through us.
In this season, God is building a stronger foundation in my life. And I believe He is strengthening the foundations of all who allow Him.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “‘Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock’” (Matt. 7:24-25 NLT).
There are three things I want to draw from this text.
First of all, Jesus says we must listen to Him if we desire a strong foundation. We must be receptive to His voice. Contrary to popular opinion, we’re incapable of building our own foundations. Only God can do that. Therefore, we must listen to His Word.
Secondly, Jesus says we must follow Him if we desire a strong foundation. In other words, listening is worthless unless we’re willing to follow. The Bible says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:22-24 ESV).
Learning how to incorporate God’s Word into your thoughts, attitudes, and actions can be hard. But this is the key to foundation building. Don’t give up!
Lastly, Jesus emphasizes the importance of a strong foundation during the storms of life. There’s a reason why we need strong foundations in the Lord. Life is full of difficult times. If we don’t have a strong foundation, we’re likely to collapse. For some, this means leaving God altogether. For others, this means depression, suicide, or aggression.
Maybe you’re struggling through loss, anxiety, confusion, cancer, or some other hurtful thing. But here’s my encouragement to you: allow God to strengthen your foundation. There’s something you can’t see. There’s more to your situation than you’re aware of. Never forget how good God is. Let Him be your foundation. In Him, nothing can make you collapse.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4 ESV).
Don’t forget your foundation.
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School and attends Ohio Christian University. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.