Thursday, January 9, 2020

Foundations and Us...

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. Mark 1:35

 It was common knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus praying during the early morning hours. When they needed Him, they knew to go to the place of prayer. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he led his cohorts to Jesus’ place of prayer. Every time the Lord Jesus faced an important decision, He prayed. When He was being tempted to do things by the world's methods instead of the Father's, He prayed (Matt. 4). When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night (Luke 6:12). If the Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine the Father's mind, how long might it take us in prayer to clearly determine our Father's will? Because Jesus was so often surrounded by crowds, He knew He must find a quiet place so He could clearly hear His Father's voice. Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction of His life. His disciples wanted Him to go where the crowds were (Mark 1:37). The crowds wanted to crown Him king (John 6:15). Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following (Matt. 4:3, 6, 9). Jesus knew that His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father. It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 6:12). Prayer preceded the miracles (John 11:42–43); prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments (Luke 9:28–31); prayer enabled Him to go to the cross (Luke 22:41–42); and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain (Luke 23:46). Follow the Savior's example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set the agenda for your life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27 NASB

You’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, but have you heard of the leaning tower of San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this fifty-eight-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly—in downtown San Francisco.

The problem? Its engineers didn’t dig a deep enough foundation. So now they’re being forced to retrofit the foundation with repairs that may cost more than the entire tower did when it was originally built—a fix that some believe is necessary to keep it from collapsing during an earthquake.

The painful lesson here? Foundations matter. When your foundation isn’t solid, catastrophe could ensue. Jesus taught something similar near the end of His Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24–27, He contrasts two builders, one who built on a rock, another on sand. When a storm inevitably came, only the house with a solid foundation was left standing.

What does this mean for us? Jesus clearly states that our lives must be built through obedience and trust upon Him (v. 24). When we rest in Him, our lives can find solid ground through God’s power and unending grace.

Christ doesn’t promise us that we’ll never face storms. But He does say that when He’s our rock, those storms and torrents will never wash away our faith-fortified foundation in Him. - Our Daily Bread for today. 

Recently, I would have to say, the storms of life have been raging.  There's turmoil, there's problems.  Not just in the world, but in my world. 

I am one who likes to figure out puzzles.  At the very least I take a stab at them.  I like to help people.  Not just for their benefit but in how I get to benefit from it.

Sometimes there's puzzles that are too big for me to understand at the moment.  Those would be the storms of life. 

My own world is like the world at large, ever changing.  There once was a time in my life when I constantly pushed to make things go in a straight line.  It was futile for sure.  It garnered me endless frustration.  Why?  Because it was me trying to do things my way for a result that I was happy with. 

Problem being God was barely part of it.

The section above from Our Daily Bread is almost the same as my other reading this morning.  Foundations are everything in building anything.  We have a garage that originally was built very well.  Then the prior owners decided to add a water tap to the side of it from the house.  A few years after we moved here a we noticed it was having issues.  Turns out that water line wasn't the right type.  It burst some time earlier and leaked. In the winter it was freezing an thawing.  It broke the foundation of this nice garage. 

Chief in the making of the foundation of the Christian life is prayer.  In the storms that are recorded in the Bible, people cried out to God.  With the storms that I have been facing praying is everything. 

I honestly don't try to be difficult nor disrespectful of people.  If my understanding of what's right is failing then I would rather someone explain it to me than attack. 

We live in a world where attacks happen more now than ever.  I pray a lot. Especially in the morning's.  But certainly throughout the day.  I have learned that I am not good enough to make it through any part of the day without doing so. 

Much is said in the New Testament about foundations.  Of who and what they are. 

I don't pray because it's a ritual. I pray because I need to share my heart with the one who knows me best. 

I fail at life more than I get it right, at least from my perspective.  Prayer holds my heart and mind together.  It's certainly my life preserver, my life jacket.  I would most certainly drown without it.  

We have an enemy in this world.  His aim is to not give us time to pray. I admit at times it's difficult.  One barrage after another.  We have some days when it seems like we just keep getting hit. 

The example from Jesus is the only answer.  Even if it means losing sleep sometimes.  There's been times when I have lost sleep and yet didn't pray.  What did it get me?  Nothing that was beneficial.  I am still learning.  

We will always have storms in life.  If there's a single thing that I can always count on it's that Jesus always picks up the phone when I call.  Even if it's a single "HELP!!". 

I am not perfect by any means.  I am, however, forgiven.  I have His promise that His love will never fail.  I may not understand what I am going through or why, but I do have His promise to be there with me. 

I would be lying if I didn't say that life scares me.  Truth is we interact with people.  There's going to be difficulty. 

What I know that I need is to get away more with Jesus to sort things out. 

That's my recommendation for all of you this day.  Find a time to be able to pray. 

You might not escape the battle but you have with you the one who can see you through it. 

The days ahead make prayer a requirement not an option.  

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