“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
FOUNDATION NO 4
We continue our relaying of the foundations.
Now at the fourth, which is about RIGHTEOUSNESS!
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – Matt 5:6 (KJV)
Righteousness means right standing with God; a clear conscience devoid of offense. A conscience that thrives on uprightness; that seeks to do “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2 (KJV)
This Foundation does not take sides with anyone or anything that is not standing right! Whoever and however close the person may be: spouse, child or relative; this Foundation would not pervert justice or twist judgment. It is not found “walking with the ungodly”.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalms 1:1 (KJV)
Everything good inspires him: honesty uprightness, etc. He derives joy, and is filled with standing right even unto death.
Paul, in Galatians 5:22 calls this GOODNESS!
Let us desire to do good all the time.
FOUNDATION NO 5
This Foundation is the virtue of FORBEARANCE. It is the ability to hold back from inflicting punishment upon an adversary.
It is the attitude of ready forgiveness. Unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness corrode the soul. They are like acid to the soul.
This virtue in the Christian makes him or her ready to forgive, even in advance, without waiting for repentance from the other. He or she remembers that God has forgiven and is ever ready to forgive. The individual in whom this Foundation is well developed could go helping the offender in prayers and in every other ways.
In Galatians 5:22, Paul called it TEMPERANCE, which is self-control.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
There are eight foundations that should be present in the life of a true Christian. These foundations are precious in the sight of God. They summarize or form the total teachings and preachings of Jesus.
In the “Sermon on the mount”, popularly called the “Beatitudes”, Jesus taught the attitude of heaven. “BE IN ATTITUDE.”
FOUNDATION NO 2
As we continue in our quest to cultivating the Kingdom character, we look at the second foundation of the Christian.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
These are people that re ready and willing to face, feel and resist anything that comes their way in their Christian journey. They are a people that are able to stand up to life’s tempest and turmoil; going the full mile with the Lord, through laughter and TEARS (mourning).
They do not see or regard the sorrow and hardness as a disadvantage. Rather, they take the strides of life as they come; and are not ashamed to take up their Cross.
These people acknowledge and are aware, that though in Christ, crisis will come (John 16:33), so brace up to face it, “loving not their lives unto the death” – Revelations 12:11
They know their help is in the Lord.
In Galatians 5:22, Paul calls this LONGSUFFERING: this is the willingness – they have the choice not to, but chose – to fellowship with Jesus in His shame and reproach.
FOUNDATION NO 3
This third foundation of the Christian is much like, but very different from the first, (poor in spirit).
“Blessed are the meek: for the shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
Most often, this foundation is confused with MEEKNESS, perhaps because of the “meek” in it.
But it refers to a gentle strength, the power to be humble. A humility that comes, not from circumstances, but from within; a power that comes from a deep trust in God and His Word.
This foundation has the power to fight: economically, physically, e.t.c., but would rather stand quietly, trusting God to bring all things to a perfect end. You can take their coat; and though they have the power to reclaim it, they will give you their cloak. If you smite their cheek, rather than fight, they will turn the other cheek!
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. ” (Matthew 5:39-40).
Have you been accused wrongly, and with all the strength and fire in you, want to fight back? Bless your enemy! Let go and let this foundation be manifest!
In Galatians 5:23, Paul calls it GENTLENESS.
….. to be continued.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” – Psalm 11:3.
I have often heard people interpret this scripture as meaning objects surrounding one’s birth: the sponge, water, placenta, soap, bowl or bucket, etc, even people; especially at deliverance sessions. Yes, it is possible. Oh, very possible!
However, receiving Christ, I became a brand new person, with a shift in everything, which includes my foundations. As a child of God, I have a brand new foundation now, laid by God Himself.
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11.
“NO OTHER FOUNDATION”! This is the Word of God! “No other”!
Perhaps before coming to Christ, those formed my foundation. But “NOW”! “Now Faith is …” Now, by the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1-2), I have been set free from that; now my foundation has been relaid!
Note the plural term used; “foundations”, not “foundation” as in singular!
To truly understand that scripture we should start from verse one. If clearly understood, it talks of me having challenges as a result of enemies whose arrows are aimed at me. So you invite me to leave my mountain and go with you to your mountain, your church, where I would have my deliverance. But, should I leave my mountain, it would prove I do not know my God, neither do I trust in Him!!
“….. but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b
So obviously, because I do not know Him or trust in Him, I would receive nothing from Him, for without faith….
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
Moreover, Jesus said it is not the church (mountain) I go to that brings deliverance!
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ” – John 4:21-24.
But the understanding of my inheritance in Him!
“Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” – Proverbs 13:15.
So, Christ is my foundation.
A foundation is a solid base on which a building, an idea, etc, rests. It is made with various materials: granite, iron-rods, binding wire, cement and sand.
Jesus our foundation, said
“Learn of me. I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29
Where you have meekness and lowliness of heart, you will find love, temperance, gentleness, and the complete fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23.
The fruit is one and where you have one segment, the others are there; in various levels or quantities, but they are there. They go together. Against these there is no law; no limit.
The Christian is built on these. Hence, Jesus said “learn of me”. These He taught in the Beatitudes; be in the attitude of heaven.
The absence or “destruction” (Psalm 11:3) of these renders the believer powerless; impotent spiritually. When a house has cracks, the fault is from its foundation. When a Christian’s character does not reflect Christ, it is from his or her foundation.
FOUNDATION NUMBER ONE
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” – Matthew 5:3
Jesus was not talking about being poor materially, but “in spirit”; spiritual bankruptcy.
The Greek word “ptochos” from which the word “poor” is translated means “chosen poverty”; a voluntary emptying of the inner being: giving up, surrendering or choosing to become dependent, not on oneself but on another – the Lord Jesus.
This foundation says “Lord, help! I can’t make it on my own.”
It is self-renunciation, surrendering of the ego to Jesus: self-denial. It is not self-centered but Christ-centered.
In Galatians 5:23, Paul identifies this as MEEKNESS, a character trait that makes one look foolish!
…… to be continued.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” – Eph 3:20 (KJV)
God can do much more than we can ever ask or think!
But why are we not experiencing it?
The power in you! God can work only to the extent of His power in you!
You and I are the limitations to God’s work in our lives.
How can we grow this power?
First we need to know what the power is.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” – Heb 1:3 (KJV)
His Word or plan has been set in motion and things unfold accordingly. He does not need to come uttering His voice every time for things to move. No. All things are upheld by the “Word (that came) of His power.”
Joel tells us that whosoever carries out His word is powerful!
“….. for he is strong that executeth his word.” – Joel 2:11b (KJV)
The word of God we retain is His power in us!
So we should:
(1) Digest His word for it is the source of Faith.
No amount of tongue-talking can produce faith. Yes; tongues can build Faith, but not produce it! Faith comes only by the Word!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)
(2) Pray from your heart!
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” – Jude 1:20 (KJV)
The revelation that comes from the Word should inspire you to pray not just with your lips but from the overflow of the heart!
“My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.” – Psalms 39:3 (KJV)
Beloved, build yourself and see God do for you, beyond your wildest imaginations!
Our God is awesome!
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. ” (Proverbs 4:23). TNLT
Watch the information you receive because now, man has opened the other door!
A sponge soaks in everything presented to it; water, powder, oil, dust, even sand. With a little pressure, either through squeezing or beating, it releases part of its content.
The heart is like that. It soaks up every information presented to it. With the pressure of everyday, they come out as actions and attitude. The information you digest form the actions that become you!
Because of free-will, every information or knowledge you receive comes to you as a suggestion. Not a force or a thing of compulsion. You are responsible for your actions!
Neither God nor Satan will force you.
God punished Adam and Eve, not just because they received information from another source but because they CHOSE to believe that voice! It was a suggestion that Eve received from the serpent. A suggestion or advice. An advice, is a thing that can either be accepted or rejected. The point where the suggestion is received and begins to be “desirable” is the point of choice; the point of “open eyes”, where the “door” of evil knowledge is opened.
Through your thought, you surrender to either side. Your actual person is determined by your thought. You cannot be bigger, better or different than your thought.
“And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.” (James 1:13-15 TNLT).
“The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.” (James 1:14 MSG).
It is your own evil desire, the final conclusion of your thought process that drags you away from God.
Though your thoughts are not visible in that they cannot be seen physically, your actions play them out!
The process starts as a suggestion or advert; aimed at making you participate or patronize.
“Will it, really?” You reply, curious.
“Someone may be hiding in the dark!”
“Oh, that’s true!” You reply in fear.
Every suggestion or advert targets your will. You either walk away or participate. The decision is always yours!
Every time you respond positively to a suggestion, good or evil, you make it your own, and will not remain the same afterwards. It leaves you better or worse.
This is the process that opens the door!
This is the reason we should be careful what we hear and how we interpret what we hear!
To be continued.
Success in whatever you have chosen to do, does not come without a price. Nothing in life is free! Even Salvation cost God and Jesus something.
How much are you willing to pay for success?
You have to be willing and obedient to eat the fruit of the land.
“If ye are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” (Isaiah 1:19).
Success is expensive and if you want it, you have to pay for it!
The price to pay for success is nothing but a resolute determination.
A mountainous determination to succeed is the price to pay. A strong desire to counter disgrace poverty, failure, misfortune, etc, must be put in motion day and night; in thought and in deed.
A resolute determination is a mixture of desire and expectation.
I read a story of people engaged in a week long prayer asking for rain. On the last day of the programme the Minister suddenly realized that not a single person, including himself, came with an umbrella all through the days of the programme. There was no burning desire!
It takes a desperate desire to succeed!
“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Proverbs 10:4).
Diligence means hard work. A person who works hard is a diligent person. Laziness, idleness, is not tolerated by a diligent person.
Poverty, like a vagabond, stalks everyone.
It takes diligence, hard work, to keep it at bay.
A diligent person does not need “motivation” to work! Joseph was diligent in the house of Portipher; he did every available and undone work that came to his attention. He needed no external motivation to work. His motivation was from inside. A diligent person works for himself, even if employed. He works almost round the clock, consumed with the passion of the work.
A diligent person places value on the work and derives satisfaction when work is done and done excellently; this fulfillment, the satisfaction that follows a work well done is what he values more than the financial reward.
May we learn to look beyond financial reward and see the worth of the inner reward; a thing money cannot buy!