This is a 3-part series about God and His plans and destinies for us. The first part is about how He lays down foundations so we can be equipped for His will, the second part focuses on revelations about His grace in order for us to fully understand and utilize its power, and the third part speaks of faith and how it should work with grace in order for us to walk in the fullness of His specific plans for each and every one of us.
Last week marked the 13th month of a season of some serious pounding and molding in my life. I was tired and exhausted, so I asked God why. In a whisper, He came and said “the higher the building, the deeper the foundations should be.”
Immediately, I understood. It was a revelation I received three years ago and I wrote about it in my old blog – about how God establishes biblical foundations and how one must go deeper in order to go higher. In 2012, what prodded me to write that piece was 3 months of some straight and serious laying down of foundations. What prods me to write this 3 years later is 13 months of serious digging up of dirt. Apparently God still has a lot deeper and a lot higher to go.
Here’s the thing. No foundation can be built without constructing and according to Merriam-Webster, constructing is synonymous to contriving, which is defined as bringing about with difficulty. And when we lay foundations, we have got to dig up the mud and dirt beforehand. And the higher we want the building to go, the more dirt we’ve got to expose and remove.
I’m obviously using this as an allegory of how it goes with our lives as well. The greater the destiny God has prepared for us, the more He has to really cleanse us and weed us out. Doing so will of course hurt us, doing so will expose the things we’re hiding most – but it is something we have to go through in order to stand as strongly and as highly we were made to. One thing I’ve come to realize is God will only go as high as our foundations would allow Him to go, and so if we refuse to allow Him to go deeper into our lives and to dig up more of our muddy issues and past and secrets, then we’re at as high as we will ever be. We will never be able to go higher without dealing with our dirt.
God’s heart for us is that we will be so built in Him as our rock that we will be unshakeable even if trials come, even if earthquakes and storms try to topple us down. However, if we build on our own words and ways; if we build high without properly laying down foundation; if we build up without fully ridding of the stones and dirt down deep, then we shouldn’t be surprised if one day, a strong wind will blow and the structure will fall. We can keep up a facade of being beautifully big structures, but one shake and quake, and we will be seen for how strong and founded we truly are.
“Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in Union with Him. Keep your foundation deep in Him, build your lives on Him.”
Build. Build your lives on Him. Building takes a lot of time. But see, a lot of people don’t want to go though the process. They don’t want to go through the long painstaking task of properly placing a foundation. We’re so used to getting things quickly – fast food, instant messenging, etc. and we have brought that habit even to our lives. We want money without having to work for it, we want success without having to strive for it, and now we want the promise without having to wait for it. But God doesn’t work that way.
God called David at an early age, but He had to pound values and foundations for 15 years in order for him to fully have the character of an honorable king. Before God thought Moses ready to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he had to grow in skill by learning at the house of Pharaoh as a young man then grow in heart by leading Jethro’s flocks for 40 years hidden away in Mount Horeb. Abraham had to wait for 25 years before he received Isaac – God’s promise. Jesus Himself only started His ministry after living 30 years of His life seeking the Father. These great men of the Bible were only launched into the greatness of their destinies after years of growing in faith, seeking His will, and walking His path. The same is true with us. If such called, amazing men had to be prepared, what more us?
Quoting Furtick, God has to strip away all the stuff on the inside that prevents us from being His wholeheartedly. God’s invisible work in you prepares you for His visible works through you. Like I wrote in Managing Strengths, there is no point in the promise without going through the process. The process is the point.
God cares more about our hearts. Like Moses, we may be skilled but we do not have yet the character to receive the promise. Or maybe like David, we also have to grow in knowledge and skill of what we are about to undertake before we can fully take the position prepared for us. Almost always, like Abraham, we are made to wait so we grow in faith. Either way, God always prepares. Always. And it usually takes longer than we expect.
We don’t want to be like Saul, who had so much unresolved issues that his foundation wasn’t properly founded on God when he became king, and so ultimately he and his throne collapsed and his kingdom was given to someone who had the character to handle it the way God wanted it to. That’s why we have got to be patient with ourselves, with how much God works through us. Even if it hurts and it takes so long, we’ve got to let Him dig up all the mess and the mud so He can replaced them with clean, solid rock.
Allow God to prepare you for what He has destined for you.
The last thing we want to do is miss out just because we can’t handle a little digging up. The amazing thing about it is God has given us the grace to go through these poundings and diggings, and so we should understand just how grace goes beyond saving and how much it is empowering.