Structures (or buildings) fascinate us because they leave us in awe of what man is capable of doing. But while we wonder at its outward appearance, what we do not see is what’s within. First, The sub structure (also known as the foundation) underneath the ground is what carries the weight of the entire building. While we don’t see it, it’s the part that takes longest to prepare and determines whether this structure can actually withstand the tests of time like earthquakes and floods.
Second, The frame is built on this substructure and is composed of posts and beams. It holds the walls and the floors together. Without it, this building will collapse or would not even stand.
Lastly, you have the facade, the floors, the windows that is what we actually see, appreciate and refer to as “the building”.
Our lives, whether you are a Jesus follower or not, are like buildings – internally we have a substructure or foundation which is our faith in Jesus, our devotion and how grounded we are In the faith. This is the anchor of our Soul. The frame structure is our character, values and morals and the super structure or facade is our reputation and actual achievements. This is what people see from the outside.
Of these three, the substructure or your foundation is the most important. When your foundation is not strong, when trials come (and they will), the whole building will be placed to a test. Regardless of how strong the frame structure is or how beautiful the facade, when the foundation crumbles so goes the entire building. When big Challenges like cancer, bankruptcy, death, fire or persecution happens to you, a great character will not be enough to pull you through. However, if your life is devoted and fully surrendered to Jesus, you know that God is under control and this will help you endure. If you’re fully anchored to Jesus, when trials come you know that there is a sovereign God who loves you and knows what you’re going through so you’ll be ok.
What about reputation? Worry about your devotion and you will eventually get your character fixed. Then you won’t have to worry about your reputation cause God will take care of it.
So how do you establish a good sub-structure? I have 3 suggestions:
A. Know and be aware – security
Do everything you can to be secure… read the bible to keep your foundation from being eroded. It would have been great if the day you accepted Jesus in your life that He just takes you away however, that is not whats happening. Until you live in this world, problems and trials will continue to bombard you like waves crashing on to the shore. If you are like sand, the sand slowly gets eroded until everything thats on it gets washed to the sea. To keep this from happening, re-assure yourself. Time and time again, you gotta lift up that anchor and cast it again so that it re-attaches to something stable. That is God’s word.
B. Communicate – relationship
If you’ve gotten so busy that you’ve bumped off prayer in your life, it is just like a loved one who went away and never communicated. In any relationship, communication is important. It reminds you that the other person is still there. Communicate with God regularly by Prayer. How do you do it? Some people will give you the formula ACTS which is patterned after the “Lords prayer” of Adoration (acknowledging God as God), Confessing, Thanks giving and then Supplication (petitions/requests). Some people say just talk to him like a friend but whatever path you choose, remember you pray not to get more from God but to get more of God.
C. Get Closer to Him.
In the book, Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas. Gary outlines the different ways people feel closer to God. Though not the entire list, here are some of those I feel most of you can relate to:
Naturalist – finds God through his creation like when they hike mountains, or see the sea. Sensates – who find God by doing sensuous worship.
Traditionalist – those who feel close to God doing religious practices.
Ascetics – finds God in Solitude & simplicity.
Care givers – loving God by loving others & doing charitable deeds.
Intellectuals – who feel God when they understand something new about God.
Whatever brings you closer to Him, go for it and make sure you get lots of it. Your foundation is your responsibility. No one else can build it for you. I pray that as I end this blog, that I was able to enlighten you in my own little way and made you reflect on whether you’ve made a foundation that can stand the tests of time or have simply made a beautiful facade.