A Firm Foundation

Dear Sisters,

Sometimes, when I get everything together to do the stuff for our morning Bible times, I am amazed at how God answers prayer with a unique plan. Yesterday, I was going through the character focus (Obedience) as well as the Hymn, How Firm a Foundation. (by John Rippen)

We have been having difficulties with our children not understanding why we have rules that are so much stricter than those of the other families we know. My husband and I were both praying for ways to explain to our children why this isn't just random acts of ruling....but that there was a higher purpose for our standards. Nothing seemed to be happening, until God joined our Bible Study yesterday morning. (Jim was gone...so God was the high priest for us, even though He is always present!).

"How Firm a Foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said -
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?"

We are commanded by God to raise up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That means, we are responsible for building the foundation....or, being the workmen that God uses to build the foundation.
Other foundation can no man lay but that is laid which is Jesus Christ.... The Word! (1 Cor 3:11)

We base all our 'rules' and standards in the Word....therefore they are sure, and they are of Jesus Christ.

Then I asked our son, who has been working contractor work for the last three years,
"What happens to concrete when you mix it wrong?"
"It won't set."
What happens if there's too much air, too much water, too much of one thing or the other?
"It will be weak."
So, it all has to be balanced....not just the rough stuff, not just the wet stuff, but balanced...following the recipe.

We have a recipe to follow...it's in the word, and it tells about faith and grace, as well as judgement and discipline.

Back to concrete - what happens if there is something foreign added?
"It won't set right, or will be brittle."
What if the builder allowed outside elements to attack it (such as rain) before it's time?
"It would have damage to the surface, if it could set up."
(And, having just learned about rough surfaces reflecting things blurry...that worked in well.)

"Fear not, I am with thee - O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand."

So, when you want to build a concrete wall....what do you do?
"You put up forms."
You put up wooden or metal forms to hold the concrete in, while it's setting up, right?
What would happen if the forms were too weak?
"They would break."
What would happen to the concrete wall?
"It would be useless"
What would happen to the outside earth when the wall fell over?
"It would come in, and cover up the wall."

Does the concrete, while it is still malleable, push on the forms?
So, the forms (standards) have to very strong (firm, strict) to hold the moldable (impressionable) concrete(child) in place, until it can show the strength (maturity) to stand on it's own against outside influences, right?
That led into the talk on iniquity from the Character Booklet #2 (How to Develop Obedience...from the Institute In Basic Life Principles).

Iniquity is doing my will, not God's will.

God ordained parents to provide standards to train the will of the child, so that they will learn to yield to proper authority, and be trained to yield to God's authority.

God commands children to obey their parents...honor their parents...hearken unto their parents. (Eph 6:1-3; Prov 7:1-3).

Parents are the builders of the children. The standards are the forms for training the children in the way they should go.

When a child chooses their own will over their parents, they are in iniquity.

Satan's sin was iniquity (I will....I will....Is 14:12-15). That was the sin that he caught Adam and Eve with (I will...I will....Gen. 3). They went against God's known will.

Jesus died for our iniquities (Is 53:6), because we desire to go our own way.
Pride is wanting my way (Persistently Recognizing I Did Everything), so, it is definitely a root to iniquity.

"When thru fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee - I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."

And then we discussed iniquities in our lives, and how willfulness is such a horrible sin (ouch). We discussed how our(parent's) desire is for the children to have strong, firm, straight foundations before they leave home. When they are on their own, building those buildings of wood, hay, or stubble, gold, silver, or precious stone....they will have a sturdy foundation to rely on. If they have to tear down the house because of mistakes, the foundation will still be there. Even some enter into the Kingdom, though smelling of smoke...because the foundation was solid. So, we try to base all of our decisions on the Word of God....so that the foundation will be strong, straight and secure.

It's another twist to the protective fences....but I am so grateful that God tied the hymn and the CQ together in a way that was so visual to all of the children.

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, tho all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never - no, never - no, never forsake"

Checking out my foundation for cracks and leaks, and leaning on His everlasting arms.

In Jesus' Love,

Ps 63:7 "Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your Wings."

Written 1/25/2001 mcw

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This site set up: July 17, 2001 by Christi's Creations
Music - How Firm a Foundation by John Rippon
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