How to Build a Life that Lasts | Building on the Right Foundation with the Right Decisions

Imagine stepping into a brick house built in 1916 that hasn’t been kept up well. You cross the threshold of the front door and enter into what used to be the living room. The creaking of the floor gets louder with every step, so you tread lightly for fear the floor may give way at any moment. As you stand in the same spot, you raise your eyes from the unstable floor to get a better look at the rest of the room. 

This house is in horrible condition. Mold is growing on the wall to your right, and panning to the left you see a mural of spider webs that could trap an unexpecting man. You raise your gaze higher, to the ceiling, to find cracks galore: small cracks and large ones, all indicating that there is an issue with the foundation. With just the right wind storm, this house would crumble in an instant.

Any builder who sets out to build a house knows that the house has no chance at longevity without a solid foundation. If you decide to build upon a shaky foundation, it will all be done away with when nature strikes with all of its glory. 

Jesus used an illustration similar to this one in chapter 7 of Matthew. 

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 7:24-27

Whether we know it or not, we all are builders, and it matters what we build with and what foundation we build upon. We can view every decision we make as a brick that we are building our lives with. And as our life comes together to form an edifice, brick by brick, we may come to realize signs that indicate foundational problems for us.

The Cracks We See

Just like we saw in the opening story, we may also be showing signs that we have built our lives on a shaky foundation. If we look closely, we can see the cracks forming all around us. I know this has been the case in my life. The cracks I saw were exposed by the decisions I would make that were contrary to God’s word. Making decisions like this indicated that I was building my life on something other than the rock.

Although my decisions revealed my foundational problem, the root of the issue didn’t stop with my decision-making ability. You see, all decisions have a source. Our beliefs influence our thought patterns, and those thought patterns influence our decisions. In other words, your belief, or unbelief, drives your decisions. 

As believers, whatever we believe about Jesus, will be reflected in our decisions to be obedient to his word.

Hear and Do

Jesus said, “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 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.

The act of hearing his word and doing what it says is obedience. And obeying God’s word enables us to build our house on the solid rock of Christ Jesus. But obedience starts with right beliefs. If I believe Jesus, I will therefore obey him because I know his words are true. If I don’t believe Jesus, I won’t obey him because I don’t believe he is who he claims to be. If we don’t believe Jesus fully, we won’t live to obey his word. 

Studies show that we make over 35,000 decisions a day, and at some point, we have to ask ourselves these questions concerning our decision-making process: 

  1. What foundation am I building on? 
  2. Do I hear God’s word and decide to obey it? 
  3. What are my decisions revealing about my beliefs? 

If you are hearing and obeying, you are building your life on the solid rock of Christ. I encourage you to keep building! But if you can honestly say you don’t hear and obey the words of Jesus, you are building on a shaky foundation that is sure to disintegrate when the right storm blows through. I encourage you to examine your beliefs and see what beliefs you hold about Jesus that drive your decisions to disregard his instruction. 

Our beliefs dictate our decisions, and our decisions are used as bricks to build our lives with. The truth of the matter is, the rain will fall, and the floods will come, and the wind will blow, but our house will not fall if we believe Jesus enough to obey his word in every area of our lives. 

The Cornerstone

Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” Isaiah 28:16

Jesus is that precious cornerstone that certain builders reject. He is a firm and tested stone that is safe to build on. When the Lord shakes everything He can shake, those who believe in him and build their lives on him have no reason to fear because our foundation is secure. Jesus is the Rock of Ages, and when we hear his word and obey, we build our lives upon the Rock that will never be shaken. 

Like I stated earlier, we are all builders. Let’s choose to build on the only foundation secure enough to last the storms we are sure to face; the everlasting rock of Christ. 

All other ground is truly sinking sand.

Application Questions

  1. Have you been able to identify any cracks in your life that would indicate a problem with your foundation?
  2. Have you ever examined your beliefs to see why you behave certain ways? You could have wrong beliefs about the Lord that causes you to make decisions contrary to his word.
  3. How could you change wrong beliefs to enable you to hear the words of our Master and obey them?

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