By Francis Frangipane
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3)
Just as there are foundations that are dug and laid for buildings, so there are spiritual foundations upon which we can build a stable spiritual life. If our foundations are destroyed, or if we try to build our lives upon an incomplete foundation, to that degree we compromise our ability to stand during life’s storms.
I’ve known many people who could prophesy or pray for the sick or sing beautifully in church, but inwardly their spiritual lives were unstable. As soon as difficulties arose, they fell apart. Why? As "together" as they seemed, they had something missing from their inner foundation. They crumbled during the storm.
Jesus put it this way:
"Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built" (Luke 6: 47-48).
The question isn’t "if" a storm is coming, but when. Storms are part of life. Everyone will experience them. Life has a way of going from calm and peaceful to suddenly turning turbulent or adversarial. The only way one’s house can stand during these times is if it is well built.
Jesus is saying that our "house" represents our spiritual life, and in building this life, the foundation is the most important part of the structure. Everything else we build, whether in ministry or gifting or calling, is built upon the inner, hidden foundation laid by Christ.
The problem is compounded because you can’t build your house in a storm. Your house must be built before the storm comes. Thus, Jesus concluded His warning,
"But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great" (Luke 6:49).
I shudder when I recall the many people --- good people, mind you --- whose house "collapsed" in the storm of temptation or adversity. How true the Savior’s words are: "and the ruin of [their] house was great."
Storms Are Coming
As a spiritual father, I am concerned about the church. In America today it has almost become a joke how dysfunctional we have become. People are proud that their lives are unstructured, as though "undisciplined" was synonymous with "humility." May I speak candidly? I think that God defines "undisciplined", not as a form of humility, but a form of disobedience.
I’m not becoming legalistic; I’m calling us to obedience. Jesus said in His Great Commission to the church we were to make disciples "who obey everything" Jesus "commanded" the first disciples (Matt. 28:20 NIV). Yes, there is a time when people need to be loved and healed. However, there is another time when we need to respond to God’s love. In fact, it is His love that wants to rebuild our lives on a foundation that can withstand the battles and be victorious!
What, specifically am I meaning when I speak of spiritual foundations? Old attitudes must be excavated from our souls and Christlike attitudes structured. Trusting in ourselves must go; trusting completely in Christ must be established. Pride must be uprooted; true humility established. Worry, fear and sin must go and prayer must be established. You see, God calls us to walk as redeemers, patterning our lives after the example of Christ. Upon these traits we can unite with other Christians in our cities until, functionally, we become "a dwelling of God in the Spirit" (Eph. 2:22).
I am talking about more than having right doctrines. I’m speaking of right attitudes, biblically correct vision and theologically accurate faith, so we actually reveal the life of Christ to the unsaved world around us.
The vision of Christlikeness should be the focus of both leadership and congregations. This has been the Father’s purpose from the beginning of time and it remains His unchanging goal at the end of the age (See Gen. 1:26-27 and Rom. 8:28-29). If we build upon the foundations of Christ, we will certainly be found standing after the storm.