Many years ago a friend of ours, who was a business consultant, shared his advice about how he would encourage businesses and individuals to set goals and accomplish them. He used an analogy of a firm foundation.
He described a foundation as being something that is your highest priority, your highest dream, or your highest goal. He talked about how we might each have a number of different firm foundations.
Your highest priorities might be that you would –
Maintain a strong and happy marriage.
Have a successful and thriving business.
Have a successful and satisfying career.
Have a ministry that effectively encourages others in their faith.
Have healthy relationships with your kids.
Have strong friendships that last through the years.
Be healthy and fit.
Achieve a high degree of education.
Have an intimate relationship with Jesus.
He described that every foundation has four or more pillars. These are the things that hold up our firm foundation.
For example – let’s say that one of your foundations is to have a strong and happy marriage. Some of the necessary pillars that hold up that foundation might be – healthy communication, promoting your spouse’s personal happiness, having fun together, emotional and physical intimacy, and teamwork.
Anything that distracts us from holding up these pillars will compromise our firm foundation.
An escalating argument will threaten to bring down the pillar of healthy communication. A fair and honest discussion can end up strengthening that pillar. Neglecting to spend time alone together can threaten all kinds of pillars – personal happiness, having fun, and emotional and physical intimacy. But carving out regular date nights can strengthen the pillars that support your firm foundation of marriage.
Maybe your firm foundation is to have a certain career. The pillars necessary to hold up your career might be to further your education, do well in school, get plenty of sleep, be well -prepared, network and find good childcare. Anything that threatens these pillars will threaten your chance of realizing your dreams.
I loved this analogy – more than once it has helped me to give a ‘no’ or to make a different plan in order to hold up my pillars which protect my firm foundation.
But I was thinking a little more about this…I think there is a very important spiritual aspect to this also. The truth is that Jesus is our firm foundation.
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:11
For me, I am able to hold my pillars up because Jesus is the rock that I stand upon. I am able to maintain my firm foundations because I am standing on the Word of God.
When you think about it – our firm foundations ultimately represent our dreams and our desires. And look at what the Bible says about the one thing that is needed to have a firm foundation. (This is one of my top 5 verses in the Bible.)
”Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
I totally think the firm foundation/holding up pillars is a valid and important tool for our life. But look again at this verse. It is a direct promise from God and it is your classic if-then statement.
IF you delight yourself in the Lord – He will give you the desires of your heart – which pretty much means your pillars and your foundations will be sure, solid, and firm.
Even with all of this good advice along with an amazing promise from God – we know that isn’t always easy.
There many things in our life will distract us from our firm foundations. If we get sidetracked we will often forget to hold up our pillars. If we get sidetracked, sometimes we neglect to delight in the Lord.
Satan’s number one goal is to distract us from holding up our pillars and from having the life that God wants us to have. He uses many things to interrupt us, discourage us, pull us down, and shake our pillars. If we are not fully committed to Jesus, we give the devil open territory for messing with our heads and knocking us off track.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Our friend had some wise and solid advice and I think it’s well worth putting some thought into what our firm foundations are and what pillars are necessary to hold them up.
Combine that with a strong foundation in Jesus and we have a pretty awesome chance at having a pretty amazing life.