Be careful of the Cracks!

Have you ever played the Jenga game? The game is simple, you take out little wood blocks and eventually the whole things tumble down. It falls because the foundation has been weakened.

 Today's blog is a summary of a message that my husband Kevin and I gave this morning.  Be Careful of Cracks in your Life”

There is an amazing story from history about the city of Sardis.  You may recall that Sardis is mentioned in Revelation as one of the 7 churches. The city of Sardis was a real city that had to deal with some cracks!

Located at about 1500 ft. high on top of Mt Tmolus with very sheer cliffs that were almost impossible to climb. Because of the city’s difficult and isolated location the residents believed that it they could not be infiltrated by opposing armies. They thought they were safe!  The people of the city became overconfident, cocky, proud, lazy and complacent. 
 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! I Corinthians 10:12 

 1. Be careful of what you think of yourself   
Think: This is what you suppose or feel about yourself. What kind of opinion do you have regarding yourself?

Important Facts About House Foundations
A. It's the most important part of the building.
You can't just build without planning what it is you're building on.

If you build a house on the beach your house is going to disappear with the next incoming tide. Something has to hold the structure of the building up. If you read through all of Matt 5-7, you'll notice that the foundation Jesus talked about was that of a godly character - Christ-like attitudes.

What's important is the kind of people we are and a good foundation gives us integrity.

B. The foundation is the first part to go in. We can't build the structure until the foundation is in, or we're asking for trouble.

Imagine building your house without a foundation. An inspector would say, "You've got to pull this house down and start again - this time with a foundation." He says that because he knows that without the foundation your house will fall down anyway! It could even be dangerous. 

Likewise we may think "Why doesn't God just fulfill everything He's promised in our lives immediately?" He's laying the foundation - making sure it will stand the pressure - the weight of the whole building. He wants to make sure it doesn't destroy us. That's why God's never in a hurry. The foundation must go in first.

C. The foundation takes the weight of the house / building.
If it's not done properly the house will eventually come crashing down.

Ever wonder why some of the most talented people have such spectacular failures?  Because of the bad foundation. Talent is a part of the house, but what they do is build the house on a shoddy foundation. These people have suffered disgrace, jail, even death, largely because of the kind of foundation that was built into their lives. So remember - the foundation takes the weight of the house - If it's not done properly the house will eventually come crashing down.

D. The foundation (the most important part) is hidden from sight.

Prophet Samuel is sent to choose the next king of Israel. When he saw Eliab, Jesse's eldest son, he was impressed, and thought, "Wow, this must be the guy." 1 Sam 16:7 Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 
Nobody says, "What a lovely foundation. I love it! I just love the color - grey. That's just the most beautiful slab. And how thick is that concrete! I wish I'd seen those little barstools going in, and the mesh." Imagine having slab-laying parties, instead of house warming parties. "Now that's a great right angle you've got on that corner."
What would really happen if you said to someone, "Hey, want to come and see my slab?" They'd probably think you're crazy. Aren't they more interested in the structure that goes up on the slab, the big rooms, the bathroom, the decor. When you buy a block of land, the question is, "When's the house going up?" Not: "Call me when the slab goes down." We do the same with our lives, we ignore the quality of the foundation.

This is why God is so interested in the foundations of our lives.

Sardis neglected their foundation and cracks began to appear.  The foundations and walls of their city had begun to deteriorate. At first the cracks were small and unnoticeable; but as time progressed, those tiny cracks grew bigger, deeper, and wider.

2. Be careful how you stand  Paul is urging us to life in a state of watchfulness regarding our spiritual lives and being in a firm stance on what we believe in faith.

How is your spiritual stance today?

The city of Sardis is like most of us, we get so busy with life and tossed around with all of the expectations and issues of life or possibly so confident of our own abilities that we become unaware of our own spiritual need. We go on in life as though we have no need to deal with the foundation of our lives not realizing that tiny cracks are starting to form.

Crackscracks. The Holy Spirit wants to come and repair them.

The people in Sardis let apathy take over.  They boasted in their self confidence. They felt sure that foreign aggressors could not make war on them!  While their arrogance grew so did the cracks! As time progressed those tiny cracks grew, finally the gaps in the walls became so wide that a human body could easily slip through them. The people were not even aware that they were at risk!

One afternoon, a Persian soldier named Lagoras watched a soldier from Sardis sneak down the back wall in order to retrieve his helmet that had fallen. That night while the city of Sardis was sleeping, the army snuck up and scaled the cliffs and slithered through the cracks in the foundations and walls of the city. In the morning, the city of Sardis awoke to find that they had been conquered, one crack at a time. The city hadn't been as careful about their foundation defense as they should have been, and they people paid for that. 

3. Be careful that you don’t fall  

Be careful about your thinking, your standing, so you can be prepared and not fall! Don’t be so proud that you think it couldn’t happen to you, so smug you fall into complacency.

Are you aware of areas of your life that have deteriorated and need attention?   Could you fall?  What are your slippery slope areas? 

4. The challenge to the church of Sardis
A couple more things about the city of Sardis. It was overtaken twice by it's enemies and had a terrible earthquake that destroyed the city.  It puts this passage into a new understanding.
Revelation 3:1-3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

“Strengthen what remains…hold it fast… repent.” We must never fall into complacency!

Look at your foundation, is it built on Christ?  What can you do to continually strengthen your relationship with him?

Ask God to reveal to you the areas that are weak and need to be strengthened. 
Ask Him to show you the cracks that are weakening your witness and your spiritual life.

Some of this information was modified from the book Sparkling Gems by Rick Renner.

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Thank you for visiting, Praying that you are blessed today. Jann

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