Updated: Jan 30, 2021
The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about foundation. One of the first memories that came to mind when thinking about this topic was the song I used to sing when I was little. There was the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on the sand. And when the rain came there were two outcomes.
“Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation. When the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation. But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.” Matthew 7:24-27 TPT
This particular scavenger hunt with Jesus started when I noticed construction had stopped on the property next to us. At the very top of the property sat an old boarded up house looking over a couple acres of land. The bank owned the property and was now splitting the land into different plots and preparing the ground to set foundations for new homes. The original house was old, broken down, and abandoned. I spent some extra time looking at it after some squatters had been discovered by the police a couple weeks before. I was asked to keep an eye on it and call if I saw any suspicious activity after hours. Construction noise became familiar and then one day they stopped. I wondered out loud if they were ever going to finish it. My son’s nurse at the time heard me and she replied, “When preparing the ground, with some soils especially clay, they let it rest so the ground can settle before they start building on it."
Her response triggered a revelation. What I was seeing outside my front door was an outward depiction of what I felt God was teaching me spiritually. I was raised with a good foundation in Jesus, however after fear, insecurity, and rebellion became strongholds in my life, my walk with the Lord became lukewarm. After a powerful encounter with my Savior and a rekindling of the fire in my heart for God, I rededicated my life to Him. He had already been speaking to me about preparing the soil, removing the weeds, pulling out the nettles, essentially healing my heart so I could receive true love and truth from Him. He was also teaching me to rest in the process. Now it was time to rebuild my broken temple.
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 ESV
In the last post, I wrote about how our body is a temple. Due to some demolition caused by my choices to live by the world's standards, I needed a full rebuild instead of a remodel. Good thing Jesus was carpenter. I didn’t do such a great job building my house on the Rock of Jesus Christ and I really didn't want my 'spiritual' house to look like the broken down abandoned one next door. With this new clue highlighted, I kept seeking what the Holy Spirit was trying to reveal through the construction next door. Through some further research I learned that when clay soil is present, a good, solid foundation is difficult to build. Clay has an expansive property that causes it to be unstable, depending on the weather. With wet conditions it expands and with dry it contracts, which can exert tremendous force on the foundation; similar to when we are hit with life's circumstances. When preparing to build a house and clay soil is present, Geo-technical Engineers are called out to the lot to analyze the soil. It is necessary to custom design the foundation due to the nature of this particular type of soil and its elasticity (MattRisinger.com). Basically, if someone were to just pour a concrete slab on this type of 'sand', the house would slide or have a huge crack in it’s foundation when the weather changed.
What do these experts do to ensure the house doesn’t shift and crack when clay soil is present? They set a "pier-in-beam" foundation. This type of foundation is drilled all the way into the bedrock underneath the clay to ensure the house doesn’t shift and the walls don't come tumbling down. God already provided the best building advice in the Bible!
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 well built.” Luke 6:48 ESV
What does that mean for us spiritually? As humans, originally formed from dirt with an inherited sinful nature, we are imperfect, we are fallible, we fall short. But God had a plan from the beginning. He knew we would need a strong foundation, a foundation in His son He sent to save us. Have you ever experienced situations or a series of unfortunate events in your life that made you crack? I have. More than a few times. The house I was trying to build wouldn't stay standing because it wasn't secured in Jesus, my Savior. It was rooted in selfish desire, fear of man, and modern day idolatry.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my Savior; You save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry came to His ears.” 2 Samuel 22:2-7 ESV
God helped me rebuild my foundation in Him after I cried out for help. I was tired of trying to do it my way. I was so broken. I questioned who I was as wife, as a mom, as a person. I had gone against every single moral and value I had and I was tossed around like a wave- depressed, anxious, sad, happy for a moment, then frustrated and irritated the next. What did I believe in anymore anyways?
I cried out to God. I cried out because after losing family member after family member, losing a baby, then losing a job I loved, and then facing the reality of that the son I had now, the son I prayed for, might not live past 2 years old. I cried out to God for my son’s life. I cried to the Lord and I begged Him to take my life as a sacrifice. “Let me be your vessel! I give you my son, I give you my life, I give you my children’s lives, I give you my husband, just PLEASE LET HIM LIVE! Let me discover what it truly means to live for You!” He met me right there while I was sobbing on the couch in my living room. He met me in the middle of every broken down wall in my life with His forgiveness, His grace, His love, and His mercy. He answered me and He never left my side. He helped me remove the weeds, prepare the ground, and rebuild my foundation in Him all while learning to rest in the process. I anchored myself into the only true foundation, Jesus Christ, so that the next time the rain came or any storm hit my life, my house would stand.
“Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.” Isaiah 28:16
Some wisdom that I have gained in this process...build your house on the Rock, Jesus Christ. He is the only foundation that will withstand every storm in life. If your foundation is anything else it is inevitable that your house will fall down. During your rebuilding it is so important to be reading the Bible and equally as important to be led by the Holy Spirit. I found that sometimes I would get so zealous about rebuilding my life in Jesus, that I would try and insert my own plans into God's blueprint. I had to humble myself and value correction. I had to learn what a healthy fear and reverence for the Lord was. I had to slow down and rest when I felt overwhelmed, so I didn't make silly mistakes and have to revisit the lesson God wanted to teach me all over again. I had to also accept the fact that no matter how great I wanted to look while rebuilding my broken down house, I was going to make mistakes and it wasn't going to be pretty in the process. Construction zones can be messy and dangerous.
Since every person is unique, your journey will be different than mine, but it will be just as beautiful. God custom builds your temple, omniscient of every intricate detail. A good spiritual foundation is not something you can buy. It is not something that you can control or manipulate, or even decide how it is going to be built. Jesus is the foundation, and your foundation becomes stronger the more you draw near to Him. He wants your surrender, your obedience, your praise and worship, and your time. Some damaged parts of the ground will be removed, but beautifully restored. Important and difficult choices will need to be made, keeping in mind that your new foundation will be much better than the old one. Tears will be cried. There will be deep hurt, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness that will need to be dealt with and given to the Lord. You will start to discover your value and your unique gifts. You will learn a new version of love. A Jesus kind of love, which I am still learning about every day (and mess up quite a bit still). Patience, perseverance, and sacrifice are all part of the process. There will be mistakes, but that is the beauty of the foundation being Jesus Christ, He died for every mistake we made in our past and for every one we would ever make in life.
"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. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:10-11