This summer I had the singular pleasure of replacing 11 fence posts in my back yard. The process is back breaking as it involves breaking up the dry ground around the old post, digging down 3 feet, lifting out the old concrete laden post, and finally installing a new post. This ordeal happened 11 times giving me some insight about foundational issues in our lives.
Some things that precipitated having to fix all these fence posts (besides neglect) were things like wind storms that would knock down sections of fence revealing tenuous foundations. The inclement weather doesn’t create the problem, it only reveals it.
When you see a good section of your fence lying on its side it instantly reminds you of how important foundation is. Without a good foundation we cannot build straight or “true”. Yet it is in our nature to focus on the tower before we focus on the foundation. We even try to do a “quick short term fix” to address the problem. I remember long ago my first attempt to fix a bad foundation was to simply pour in some concrete without digging up the old broken stone. The results were only temporary as the old post crumpled in the next storm.
I believe the same thing happens when we try to deal with our life’s issues. We focus on behavior (the tower) but neglect the foundation. A. W. Tozer spoke of the human tendency to try to change our ways without the breaking up of the “self life”. The self is the foundation and crux of who we are. It is the part of us that can dig in its heels and say “NO”. The self sufficient part that says “I can do this in my own strength”.
I believe that we keep falling into the same ruts of sin, and failure because the foundation has never been addressed.
In order for me to properly fix each fence post, I had to first dig up the old foundation and remove it. Its messy as sometimes the concrete comes out in pieces. This is very much the way we feel when God is breaking apart our foundation in order to build.
But be encouraged that Dismantling is not destruction, it is progress. Even though what is left is an empty whole through our hearts (just like the post), it is God’s doing in our lives for the purpose of creating something that will last.
Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.