A couple weeks ago, we talked about soul triggers and how they are more like cracks in our foundation. When a foundation is cracked it is, essentially, useless and it puts the entire structure in jeopardy.
Recently, one of my best friends went house shopping. She walked into a beautiful home with her husband and their Realtor. They fell in love with it immediately and started imagining life in it. It was perfect, and surprisingly, well below their budget!
Her husband walked over to the dining room window and noticed a large pile of dirt outside. He thought maybe they were landscaping, and mentioned something to the Realtor. She took one look outside and said, “Basement, now!”
When they made it to the basement, a horrible sight met their eyes. One entire wall of the basement was cracked and actually bowing in. The water damage and mold was obvious. The beautiful house above was literally on the verge of crumbling into nothing because of a poor foundation.
We can be like that house, beautiful, perfect, pristine, and yet underneath the surface a neglected foundation is cracking, wearing, and giving way to all kinds of destruction. In a way, we are rotting, from the soul out.
So, how do we defend against the cracks in that foundation? Well, we strengthen them.
A New Perspective
We need to rethink our approach to freedom, because we often have it backwards. We tend to focus our attention and energy on what is obvious. My spiritual life is not seen by others, so it tends to get less of my attention, except of course for church attendance and participation. That we are careful to do.
We buy the lie that says if we can clean up the rest of the house, we can take care of the foundation later. We make the most important thing the least important priority.
Growing my relationship with God stands last in line behind other more obvious signs of improvement- going porn free for a month, not masturbating for 5 days, dumping the boyfriend, telling my mom, praying more… The list of ‘home improvements’ is never-ending, which is why the last thing on that list “fix my relationship with God” rarely ever gets done!
That process of fixing the outside first needs to be turned on its head. As one of my mentors once said, “Love God more than you hate the sin.”
Ways to Strengthen Your Foundation
Identifying cracks in your spiritual foundation may take a lot of introspection, thought, and prayer. It may even take a good chunk of time. Like a crack in the basement wall, a crack in your spiritual foundation may not be obvious until a storm rolls through and water seeps in. In other cases, it might be painfully obvious.
You might have cracks caused by flawed theology. Your view of God may be flawed because of something in your past. You may lack discipline in prayer, or not see worship as important. There are many ways that your foundation can be cracked, but I think there is one thought that helps protect against a multitude of cracks:
Remember your salvation.
In a Twitter post a couple weeks ago, Christian author Elyse Fitzpatrick, shared about the story of David after he sinned with Bathsheba. If you do not know the story, the short version is David spied on a married woman while she was taking a bath, slept with her, got her pregnant, and then had her husband killed.
Here is David, an adulterous, lying, murderer, and when he is faced with his own darkness, he does not seek out a program. He does not promise to try harder. He does not distance himself from God, or throw a self-pity party about how he should no longer be king. No, he calls out to God. His cry is found in Psalm 51, and I think it is a beautiful prayer of a repentant heart.
Most notable is verse 12, which says,
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”
Let me just be honest, when I fall, this is not usually the attitude of my heart. My approach to God is more of a “please don’t strike me dead where I stand. Please give me strength to beat this thing. Please help me figure out why I keep screwing up.”
But here, David, a man after God’s heart cries out to His God for mercy and joy. Joy.
How often do you think about what God did to rescue you? It is not just a cute little coloring page in a Sunday school book. Calvary is the hinge-point of all human history.
That is your foundation. That is the foundation. If you want to strengthen your foundation, look there, and remember. Remember the goodness, love, and mercy of God that would stoop so low to reach someone just like you.
The foundation is not some list of reasons why pornography and lust are bad. It is not some level of performance or standard of purity. It is the love of Christ for us, for you, the love that saved you and freed you. That is your foundation.
All else is sinking sand.