Text: Matthew 7:24-27
No building can stand without a foundation. The foundation of a building is the lowest part of the building. It is usually below ground level. When you look at a fully completed building, you don’t see the foundation of the building. The foundation is the prepared ground or base that the weight of the building is placed on. A foundation has to be very strong to be able to support or carry a building.
When building and you want to lay the foundation for your building, there are different options available to you because there isn’t just one type of building foundation available in the market. In building, there are two main types of foundations – shallow foundations which are commonly called footings and deep foundations. Under these two main categories of foundations, you still have different kinds of shallow foundations and different kinds of deep foundations. So you have options to choose from when building.
We Are Spiritual Buildings
In the word of God, our lives are likened to a building. 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that we are living stones being built into a spiritual house; to be a holy priesthood, who offer sacrifices acceptable to God. Just like you have different options to choose from when laying the foundation of a building, there are also different types of foundations you can choose to build your life; ministry, marriage, family, business or career on. For example, a marriage can be built on the foundation of a person’s looks. This means that the main and determining factor why a young man or lady chooses to marry a particular person is because of the person’s looks. It is not a bad thing to be attracted to a person because of the person’s looks nor is it a bad thing to desire a person as a partner because of the person’s looks. But it is a problem if the only and main reason why you choose to marry a person is because of the person’s looks. Because as Proverbs 31:30 says “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting”. A person’s beauty or looks is fleeting; it doesn’t last forever. It can change with time, events and circumstances. For example, a person’s beautiful face can be left with some horrible scars after a fatal accident. You can also marry someone who is very slim, but a few years into your marriage, the person has put on weight and become fat. So if the main reason why you married the person is because of the person’s looks, once this begins to change, your interest and commitment to the marriage is affected and after some time you won’t see any reason at all to remain married to that person. It may sound funny, but many marriages today have crashed because they were built on this kind of wrong or faulty foundation.
The church of God is also likened to a building. This we see in Ephesians 2:19-22. Where we are told that the church of God is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone of the building. When starting a church or ministry, there are also different kinds of foundations you can choose to build your church on. Some churches or ministries are built on the foundation of miracles. That is their central focus. Now is it a bad thing to have miracles in your church? Certainly not, after all Jesus Himself said in Mark 16:17-18 that signs and wonders will accompany those who believe in Him. They will drive out demons in His name, heal the sick and so on and so forth. All these things are good and should be manifest in every church and in the life of every believer. But it is a problem if the main focus of your ministry or church is on miracles. If you make miracles the focus and foundation of your ministry or church, the day no miracle takes place in your service, people will start losing their interest and commitment to your church or ministry. This was what happened in John 6:26-27. The people were following Jesus in large numbers because he had performed a miracle of provision. He supernaturally multiplied five loaves and two small fish to feed over five thousand people. Because the people had eaten and were satisfied, they gladly followed Jesus. Not really because they were interested in Jesus or in His teachings but because they had reasoned it out that if I follow this man, if I join His ministry, I will always have food to eat at every service in His church or ministry. Jesus quickly identified such people amongst the crowds following Him. If we read further down John 6 to see what eventually happened to these people, we see that when Jesus started doing some deep teachings, they very quickly and easily left Him (John 6:66). This goes to show that God wants to perform miracles amongst believers, but He doesn’t want miracles to be the foundation of any church or ministry because miracles don’t have the ability to sustain anyone in the faith. Yes, they can keep you committed for a season, but the moment there are no miracles, your faith and commitment begins to dwindle and before you know it, you are no longer in the faith.
We need something much deeper and stronger than looks, personal abilities, strengths and money to form the foundation of our marriages and families. We need something more enduring than good works like providing food for the hungry or miracles to form the foundation of our ministry or church. All these things are good and necessary but they can crumble or give way in the face of pressure, adversity and difficulties.
In building, the reason why a lot of time and effort is given to laying the foundation of the building is so that the building can withstand any kind of pressure. If life where a bed of roses where you never have to face any kind of problem or challenge, then we can afford to build our lives on such shallow foundations like a person’s looks, beauty or charisma. But we know from Jesus’ statement in John 16:33 that in this world, we will definitely have problems, we will definitely have challenges that is why we need a foundation that can withstand any kind of pressure, a foundation that come rain, come sunshine remains strong and intact.
This morning I want to present JESUS to us as the only SOLID, FIRM and ETERNAL Foundation to build our lives, family and church on. He is a foundation that is UNSHAKEABLE and IMMOVABLE. It is because Jesus is the only foundation that possesses all these characteristics that is why Paul in 1 Corinthians 3: 11 tells us to build on no other foundation but Jesus Christ. Isaiah 28:16 describes Him as a TESTED and SURE foundation that you can put your trust in and never be put to shame. He is the stone the builders rejected which has today become the Chief Cornerstone (Acts 4:11). He is the main, the largest, the most beautiful, the strongest and the most solid stone we are to build our lives on.
BENEFITS OF MAKING JESUS YOUR FOUNDATION
There are three major things that happens to a person or a church that makes Jesus Christ their firm foundation:
1. You can withstand spiritual heat, floods, rains and winds – Proverbs 10:25
In Acts 27:13-25, while Paul and other men were on a ship heading to Rome, a terrible storm struck and their ship was badly affected by this storm. In fact, the storm was so bad that verse 20 says that when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm kept raging, all the men gave up hope of being saved. The men on the ship had completely lost hope and had given up. They had gotten to that point where they believed that any minute from now, they would die. It was only Paul in the midst of that terrible storm that was confident that nothing would happen to him, he wouldn’t die, he would survive the storm. I can imagine all the men screaming with their hands on their heads Hey, I’m going to die o! I’m going to die o! But Paul was saying a completely different thing. He was saying I shall live and not die. I shall live and declare the good works of the Lord in the land of the living. The winds were blowing, the ship was shaking badly but he was declaring to himself I shall live and not die. What gave Paul such confidence? He had made Jesus the Rock and Foundation of His life. And so he was confident that because he is standing on a rock that never fails, the storm wouldn’t overwhelm him, he would come out of that storm victorious.
Isaiah 43:2 tells us that when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be burnt. This is a promise that you will remain standing no matter the spiritual heat and flood you face; no matter how bad things get spiritually, no matter the health challenge you are going through, no matter the financial crisis you are in or marital problems you are facing, no matter what is going on in the church of God, the Rock of Ages will carry you, uphold you and secure you in the midst of all these troubles and hardships. It is a great and wonderful promise but it is a promise that doesn’t apply to everyone. If the promise applies to everyone, then the person Matthew 7:27 talks about wouldn’t have suffered a great crash when the rain, streams and winds beat against his house.
It is only when Jesus Christ is our foundation that we can be assured that no matter the storm life brings our way, that storm will not overwhelm us, we will come out of that storm victorious. When Jesus is our foundation, when the enemy comes in like a flood that wants to drown our marriage, children, family, ministry, business, career, finances or church, the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against Him and shield and secure us from that evil flood (Isaiah 59:19).
If there is a storm we are facing and we can’t see ourselves coming out of that storm, we believe that storm will overwhelm us, then we need to check our foundation. Is Jesus really our foundation? If He is, then this morning, He wants us to free our minds of all fears and put our trust completely in Him and be confident just like Paul was in the face of a raging storm.
When Jesus is your foundation and you find yourself in a storm whether it is a spiritual, financial, marital or health storm, you can be confident of these 3 things:
• JESUS will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus won’t abandon you or leave you to face any storm or problem all by yourself. Today, God wants you to know that you are not alone in what you are going through. As a church, God wants us to know that we are not alone, God is with us. He won’t leave us, He won’t forsake us.
• JESUS is the hope and assurance that no matter the storm we see or face today, a big testimony is coming our way. Colossians 1: 27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. When Christ is in us, when Christ is our foundation, then there is a hope, there is a certainty that what we will see is GLORY! Even though there may be challenges here and there, even though you may presently be going through some hardship and difficulties, you will see the glory of God in your life; you will have a testimony and lifting. Individually and collectively, the Lord shall give us a big testimony and lifting in Jesus mighty name, AMEN!
• JESUS will hold you tightly and keep you from falling and crashing. Colossians 1:17 says in Him (IN CHRIST) all things hold together. When Jesus is the One holding your marriage, children, ministry, business or finances you won’t fall or crash. When Jesus is the One holding our church, no storm will carry our church away. Today, God wants you to know that even though it may appear like everything around you is falling apart and about to give way, you are not going to crash. Your marriage, business, ministry won’t crash in Jesus mighty name.
2. The second thing that happens to a person or church that makes Jesus their foundation is that the Gates of Hell can’t prevail against you
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. We know that the church is not a building but you and I. We believers are the ones that make up the church.
The Gates of hell refer to everything the devil and his kingdom does to try and bring down and destroy a person, family, church or ministry. There are so many ways Satan tries to attack and destroy a person, family, church or ministry. But I just want to focus on two main tactics of the devil – Deception and Satanic opposition.
In John 8:44, the devil is called the father of all lies. Meaning that he thrives and operates through lies and deception. Everything he says and does is a lie. He tells us so many lies about who we are and about our situation. He feeds us with a lot of horrible lies about other people. For example, three people in the choir are talking about the song they are going to present next Sunday. You pass them as they are talking and immediately, the devil tells you, you are the one they are talking about, they are gossiping about you, they are laughing at you. Some people can even start keeping malice because of this meanwhile, you weren’t the person they were talking about, you just simply fell for one of the lies of the devil. If we don’t know the truth, if we don’t know Jesus, if we don’t know the word of God, we can easily fall for Satan’s lies and deception. The devil has to first get you to believe and accept a lie before he can get you to fall for his temptations. Anytime we sin against God, it is because we have fallen for a lie of the devil. Eve fell because she believed a lie (Genesis 3:4-5). God specifically told Adam that if he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will die (Genesis 2:16-17). But Satan came and told Eve that nothing bad will happen to her if she eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On the contrary, she will be like God, knowing good and evil. Eve fell because she didn’t know the truth. Jesus stood tall and strong when the devil came to tempt Him because He knew the truth, He knew the word (Matthew 4:1-11).
Jesus is the truth; Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1). The more of God’s word we know and apply to our lives, the stronger and firmer our foundation. This is why the devil does everything possible to keep us from spending time in the Word of God so we are not grounded in the Word of God. I pray for everyone of us that starting from today, the Lord shall increase our passion and commitment to the Word of God so we can have a strong foundation that will prevent us from being tossed here and there by all kinds of deceptive and demonic doctrines and teachings (Ephesians 4:14). I pray for God to help us to be firmly rooted in His Word which will give us a firm foundation that will protect us from suffering a big fall (Matthew 7:24-27).
The story of Sanballat and Tobiah is a very good example of Satanic opposition and resistance, the other strategy of the devil I want to talk about (Nehemiah 4:1-11).
When the devil sees you are building, whether it is your spiritual life you are trying to build, or your marriage, or your children in the way of the Lord, or your business or career, or you are part of those involved in the work of God which essentially is building lives for God, he will position some Sanballat and Tobiah around you to mock your efforts, to plot against you, to intimidate you and to cause all kinds of trouble for you so you will get discouraged and stop building.
But if Jesus is your foundation, it is your enemies that will be frustrated and put to shame not you (Nehemiah 4:15, Nehemiah 6:15-16). Sanballat and Tobiah did everything to frustrate the people of God so they would give up on what they had set out to do for God, but God frustrated their Satanic counsel and agenda because God was on their side and solidly backing them up. Mockers and those who oppose you and contend against your destiny are confused and put to shame when Jesus is your Helper, your Rock, your Foundation. Is Jesus your foundation? Then get ready to see the disgrace of every Sanballat and Tobiah that has been assigned to your life, that has been assigned to our church. No matter how fierce and strong the Satanic opposition against you, the gates of hell can never prevail against you when you have Jesus as your firm foundation.
3. The third and final thing I want to talk about that happens to a person who makes Jesus your foundation is that you will not labour in vain.
The worst thing that can happen to anyone is to attend church every week, to give to support the work of God, to be active in one department or ministry or the other for God, and heaven doesn’t recognize and accept all what the person is doing. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 talks about Christian service that will go unrewarded, Christian service that is just a labour in vain. May that not be our portion in Jesus name. But this can happen when Jesus is not the foundation of everything you do for God. Matthew 6: 1-18 talks about people who pray, give and fast but with the motive of being seen and commended by others. They do a lot for God, but they do it with the wrong motive, hence they don’t get any reward from God. The most they get is people saying things like that sister can pray very well, that brother is so fervent he’s always fasting, that woman is a real giver. It is good to be praised and commended by people, but it is much better to have God’s blessing and favour on what you do because that is what can open doors for you and change your life and situation. People can commend you and you still return back to your problem after all their nice commendations. But God’s blessing and reward can give you divine promotion, it can turn your story around.
Psalm 127:1 tells us that unless the Lord builds, the builders labour in vain. It is only when Jesus is your foundation that you won’t labour in vain, that all the time you spend waking up early to come to church, staying up late to attend vigils isn’t a wasted effort but something that will result in your being appreciated, valued and blessed by God Most High.
This is the blessing that comes to those who have Jesus Christ as their foundation – READ ISAIAH 65:21-24. Whatever you are building, whether it is your spiritual life, your family, your marriage, your business or career, or you are helping to build lives for God, you will eat and enjoy the fruit of your labour.
A lot of us have been labouring for years. We have put so much into the work of God. We have put so much into our marriage, family, business, education and career, but it appears like we have just been labouring in vain. The more you pray for your child, the more it appears like your child is drifting away and getting involved in all kinds of shameful things. The more you pour money into your business, the more it looks like the business will soon fold up. If you are in that situation today, I have good news for you. The good news is that when Jesus is your foundation, you will surely experience divine restoration of all the years the canker worm and caterpillar have stolen from you (Joel 2:25). You will experience divine restoration of all those years that have appeared like you have been labouring or serving God in vain.
In Esther 2:21-23, Mordecai did something noble for God. He discovered a conspiracy to assassinate the king. This was reported to the king and he was saved, his life was spared. But nothing at all was done for Mordecai. No commendation, no recognition, no reward was given him. It actually looked like it was a labour in vain, a wasted effort. But the God who never allows those who have Him as their foundation to labour in vain intervened in Esther 6:2-13. When Mordecai wasn’t thinking of it, when he wasn’t expecting it, when he had even forgotten about what he did for king, God opened His book of remembrance and Mordecai was remembered and honoured.
Today, for as many as have Jesus as their firm foundation, He is going to open His book of remembrance and bless you for things you did genuinely for Him but have even forgotten about (Malachi 3:16-18) because no one who has Christ as their foundation ever labours in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). With Christ as your foundation you are never a loser. You don’t lose rather you gain a hundred times both here on earth and also in heaven (Matthew 19:29).
The conclusion of the matter, the conclusion about having Jesus as the foundation of our lives is what Paul says in Romans 8:37-39. Which simply is that when you are in Christ, when Christ lives in you, when Christ is your foundation, no situation, no person, no force, no power can bring you down.
In the name of Jesus, I replace every faulty foundation in my life with Christ Jesus.
O Lord be the architect and builder of my life. In Hebrews 11:10 God is called an architect and builder. Tell God that you don’t want to be the one building your life with your own hands. Tell Him that you want Him to use His own architectural hands to build your life because a house that has God as its architect and builder can never be built on a faulty foundation. Pray this same prayer for the church, a church that has God as her architect and builder can’t be established on a faulty foundation.
If human architects can produce such beautiful architectural designs, imagine how beautiful a life, family, ministry or church that is built by God will look. So pray this prayer: Father, take over the building of my life so your beauty and glory can be seen in every aspect of my life. Father, be the Master Builder of our church so your beauty and glory can radiate all over our church.
Father, give me the grace to build on no other foundation but the foundation of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10). This prayer is very important because without the grace of God, unless God helps us, we can very easily miss it, we can end up focusing on the wrong things.
Father, as a church, give us the grace to build on no other foundation but the foundation of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10).
O Lord, as I pray to you today, visit my foundation today so I can experience a total, permanent and lasting deliverance from every evil prison and chain (Acts 16:25-26).
O Lord, let your fire go to the foundation of every problem in my life, and consume that problem from its foundation; from its root, from where it started (Deuteronomy 32:22).
O Lord, expose, disgrace and frustrate every ‘Sanaballat’ and ‘Tobiah’ assigned to my life, family and church.
I declare and decree that Jesus is the foundation of my life, because you are my Sure Foundation, I shall not be carried away, consumed or overwhelmed by any spiritual flood (Isaiah 59:19).
I declare and decree that Jesus is the foundation of my life. Because you are my Firm Foundation I shall not end up as an abandoned project (Zechariah 3:8-9). Declare that your marriage, your children, your spiritual life and walk with God, your ministry, your business shall not be an abandoned project. Declare on the authority of God’s word that God will perfect and complete everything that concerns you.
PHOTO CREDIT: Frank V. on Unsplash