Looking Back / Looking Forward
by
Rocky Fleming
Tuesday – A Foundation to Build On
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  (Matthew 7:24-25 ESV)
 
As I look back on life and evaluate my present days, I understand that the foundation of my life at present has been built on a previous foundation that had to be torn out and redone several times until is was made right.  You see the experiences of others and our own misconceptions about the way life should be, represent much of the building material we use in building the foundation of our life.  For a while it works until we begin to spot the “sand” that Jesus said would not stand the test of severe trials.  Unfortunately the sand shows up under the load and tests Jesus mentioned, and we experience deep disappointments as a consequence.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that Jesus is the “Eternal Optimist” when it concerns our life and He is always giving us a rebuilding plan, if we will take it.  His plan is to first get the sand out of our life, and then He builds a rock solid foundation to support the vision of the man He has in mind.  Like all foundation work, His work is out of sight.  It is not glamorous. In fact it is often messy.  The truth is all discipleship is messy if it is going to challenge our life and create lasting life change.  It often seems to us that there is more time and material going into something that never shows, never gets glory, never even gets recognized … until there is a major test in our life.  It is then we know what our foundation is built on, and we are glad that Jesus took the time He needed to prepare us for what was ahead.
Yesterday I asked you to look back and try to see the God encounters in your life.  Did you do this?  If so, we can try to connect some dots today.  I believe God is always trying to break through to us in His own way and time.  He is training us to recognize His voice and to follow His lead as He rebuilds our foundation.  You might ask:  “In what ways does He rebuild my foundationfor life?”  Consider what He has shown me:
God is growing my trust in Him.  Why would this be important to God?  It is so that He can bless us.  The sand Jesus spoke of should not be understood as the inorganic material on a beach but rather those things we put our trust in rather than God.  Said another way this sand represents idols, and idols will always let us down.  The tests will prove this.
 
God is growing my understanding of His love for me.  Why is this important to God?  It is so you and I can become the vision of the man He has in mind.  The most overwhelming thought I have each morning is to awake with the assurance that God loves me.  This gives me courage and purpose and assurance that my God is greater than any foe that I will face, and because He loves me He will always be for me.  I like those odds when I face each day.
God is growing me into the man He has in mind.  Why is this important for us to know and believe?  How many of you had a coach who tried to strengthen you, prepare you, and stretch you beyond your limits so that you could be successful in the sport you played in?  How many of you had teachers or mentors or parents who did the same?  At the end of the day is it not true that their work was to help us achieve that which we desired to be and do?   Most of us would say yes.  It is the same way with the transforming work of Christ in our life.  When He looks at you and me He has a vision of a great man or woman who will honor Him with our life and legacy.  As we grow closer to Him, His vision begins to become our vision for our self.  We adopt it and begin to desire it, … and it is this man or woman who He is preparing for the future, by stretching us into that person.  It is painful, and it is messy.  But it builds the foundation that will stand under the load.
God’s work for molding the man that He wants, and deep down what we want for our self begins with the foundation of our life.  Look back on your life and let Him show you the sand He has been removing and the rock He has replaced it with.  Then you will begin to get an idea of the man He is making of you, and the future that awaits you.