Before you can build anything you need the right foundation.
A beautiful house on a poor foundation cannot withstand the unexpected challenges of life. It can withstand floods rather than falling into ruin:
Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:47-49)
According to the verse above, that solid foundation is based on both an understanding of Jesus’ words and an obedience to what he says.
Everyone who “hears my words and does them” are the ones likened to the house that remained unshaken in the flood.
Knowing what is the truth and then acting upon that belief is hard because we are constantly under assault for what that truth is. Many people will try to shape and define what that truth is.
Consider the warnings:
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. (Ephesians 4:14)
Without the right thoughts, the right actions can’t follow.
An inability to hear the right words according to Jesus can result in you being “tossed and blown about” as new, competing truths comes.
So what are your truths ?
What do you believe to be true?
There are a couple of ways that Jesus dig into our deepest beliefs. To ensure you’re not “tossed and blown,” you need to know what is true to you.
Here are three areas to ask and really dig deep into the answers for yourself. Not what you understand to be the “right” answer. But the answer that your actions, taken together, says that you believe.
What is worthy of everything in your life?
A way to discover what is true and foundational in your life is whether you stake your worth on it. An illustration of whether you stake your worth on it is whether you are able to give everything up for it.
How would you answer what is worthy of everything in your life?
It’s tempting to give lip-service to what the “right” answer is, but look at how one man who discovers the truth of the Gospel actually acts:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
One path of struggle and growth has been to really press into what is my true foundation, and to lean into decisions, choices, even sacrifices which put to the test what is worthy of everything in my life.
What is it to you?
What do others believe to be true that you know to be a lie?
One of the ways to strengthen your knowledge of the truth is to understand and prepare for those which are commonly accepted, but you know not to be true. In other words, being able to articulate what is a “pretension” and, with clarity and gentleness, “demolish” the argument.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
One of the ways to effectively address arguments (not saying you should get into an actual argument, however) is to describe what those conventionally accepted wisdoms that most people believe to be true, but you know to be a lie.
Do you know what those are for you?
Here is one of my examples:
O Lord, I know that a man’s way is not known by himself. It is not in man to lead his own steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
The most common and perhaps easily and desirable belief, especially for men with ambition and drive, is to be a “self-made” man. Yet, we know that is not true.
What are the things that pull you away from staying the course?
The opposite of being foundation is being fickle. In a world filled with choice, distraction, and temptation, remaining fixed on your true north can be hard.
Then Jesus declared, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Do you know the things that can cause you to “look back” while you have one hand on the plow?
What are the things that you know can pull you away from staying the course?
Exploring the areas where you are fickle and where you are on solid ground gives you a foundation for many areas in your life: relationships, careers, finances, and your own sense of well-being.
As you reflect on the three questions and your answers above, start exploring what do you really believe, and how you are acting based upon those, or areas where you could seek change.