My dad is a builder. I have vivid memories stretching back early into my childhood which are accompanied by the sound of a hammer banging or a power tool buzzing. It was a constant theme at our house growing up. Suffice it to say, we didn’t sleep in on Saturdays.
I worked construction with my dad for a number of summers through high school and college. Most of it was manual labor. There did come a point however, where I began to understand a few things about the building trade. Although I spent most of my days on the job site cleaning up, driving a fork lift, hauling lumber, or (my personal favorite) destroying things (they call it “demolition”); the fundamentals were not lost on me. On the most basic level, when you build, you begin by solidifying a foundation. Everything else proceeds from there. You can be the most amazing designer, painter, craftsman, or framer, but if you lack the right foundation you’re structure is in danger.
There is a principle here that applies to more than just building a physical structure. In life, as in construction, what you build will be as stable as the foundation you build upon.
This morning we are beginning a journey through the book of Jonah at LifePoint Church. Even the mention of that name evokes images of a ship tossed around by a wild storm, a great fish gulping down a panicked prophet, a pagan city on the edge of destruction, or a sun-scorched vine withering away. But in our first week of Jonah we’re not going to spend time on any of those. The short biography of this prophet is what it is because something happened to the foundation upon which he built his life.
Jonah knew God, he had been used by God in profound ways, but when God called on him to take a step outside the box that he had fashioned for himself and God together, Jonah ran. I believe Jonah fell into the trap that snares (knowingly or unknowingly) many people who know God. We experience God working in a certain way, we get in a comfort zone with God, but when the voice of God’s word challenges our assumptions—we run.
Be careful how you build. Take a look at the foundation of your life and realize that what you build upon will determine the integrity of the structure. Is God’s word your foundation? Is Jesus the cornerstone? Or do your opinions, feelings, assumptions, or personal views of “fairness” prop up your joy and peace?