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On What Ground is Your Life Built?

In Psalm 11:3, the Psalmist wrote about the society in which he lived, If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The New Living Translation of the bible translates this verse of scripture as, The foundation of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do? In Scripture, the word foundation could refer to the actual foundation upon which a superstructure (the portion of the building that is visible to the eye and which is lived in) is erected; and it could also refer to the ground upon which the foundation of a building is built. For the purpose of this discussion, we shall refer to the actual foundation of a building as simply, foundation; and the ground on which the foundation is laid, simply, as ground. When a bridge is built, its foundation is laid inside the ground of the bed of the body of water; it is not suspended in water! And that way, the bridge is stable and able to withstand flooding, and the rushing currents of the sea. Therefore, any building that is erected on a foundation that is not sitting on solid ground will eventually collapse like a pack of cards when there is an earthquake, heavy flooding, hurricane, etc.

Furthermore, the word foundation as used in the bible may apply to a building, a society, a community, a people, a family, a business, or an individuals life. Thus, a foundation can be said to be the bases, the underpinning, the principles, or the grounds, upon which a society, community, group of people, family, business, or an individuals life is built or established. It is the basis or principle that underpins everything that that society, community, group of people, family, business or an individual does. It is what forms the values that, groups of people or an individual exhibit.

Another thing about foundations is that: while it is a good thing to have a good foundation for a building, it is a completely different matter for that foundation to rest or be laid on solid ground! For instance, no matter how good the foundation of a building is, you wouldnt lay it on water! Indeed, no matter how good a foundation may be, if the building is to endure, and stand the test of time, it must be laid on solid ground.

In this country, there are people whose lives are built on a get-rich-quick foundation, because our society is now being established on the ground of money-is-everything, which gives recognition to those who have money to splash around, regardless of how they got it. With such ground for the establishment of a society, it is clear why governments in Nigeria pay only lip service to education, research, hard work, integrityall strange words in our current socio-economic climate! And because of the ground of recognition based on how much money and acquisitions a person has, regardless of how he acquired it, almost everything about our society has become despicable and corrupt. The integrity of our nation is collapsing because our values are now being laid on the unstable ground of money-is-everything. In every office, in every school, in every hospital, in every police station, in every government establishment; on our roads, in our localities, in our airspace, and even at sea, we see the canker of corruption as a result of money-is-everything syndrome eating away at the fabric of hard work, good business ethics, morality, and integrity. Gone are the days when teachers taught with such dedication and devotion, the only way we could repay them for their service apart from their meager salaries was to tell them that their reward is in heaven! Today, no one wants to wait for any heavenly rewards, including those who claim to be Christians! Almost everyone wants to get their reward here on earth. So, we have teachers who are no longer teaching, but who are now engaged in buying and selling within the school environment. We have students who no longer study, but engage in what is called sorting, which is what happens when a student pays a lecturer for grades in cash or if a female student, in kind. And what is worse, parents are also involved in this despicable act. So now, we have graduates of English who cannot spell, who cannot speak one sentence of the English language correctly, and who cannot write a letter of application for employment correctly. We have graduates of geography who cannot tell where the North of a compass is, and in some cases, who dont even know what a compass is. In government hospitals where the poor can be treated at next to no cost, the drugs that they need are not available, but those same drugs can be purchased in the pharmacy down the road from the hospital; and most of these pharmacies are owned by staffers of the hospital. As people are living longer in our nation, the older population is increasing, yet we have no provision for attending to them. Pensioners die while queuing to be identified before being paid every monthsome of them travel at a cost of over 50% of the pension they are queuing to receive! People go into politics not because they want to solve the problems of the nation, but because they see it as an avenue for making money. That is why, no matter how old and ineffective these politicians are, they are always to be found in the corridors of powerwhether it is a military government or a civilian government. They have no morals; no sooner than a military coup takes place, that you find them operating in the new government. The few politicians, who truly have the interest of the nation at heart, are rigged out of elections, and the people dont mind, because they (the people) have been settled with financial inducement. And the few who speak up are labeled as unpatriotic! The media has not been spared. There was a time when it was the brown envelope; now it is Ghana-must-go bags that is used to pay them off. Investigative journalism has died; journalists only report what they are paid to report. If you think that is bad, what of the church? The money-is-everything principle is also there. People are recognized and in most Pentecostal churches, ordained not on the basis of what God has said, but on the basis of how much that person is worth in monetary terms. The messages that we hear from the pulpit encourage their adherents to pay greater attention to making money than to the salvation of their souls. One well respected Pentecostal Bishop said, The church needs to have money, because without money its voice will not be heard! This statement cannot be, and is not true, because the word of God does not support it! For God has used the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, the weak things of this world to confound the mighty, the base things of this world, and the things which are despised to bring to nought the things that are (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). When church leaders meet with the political class, they tell the politicians that they are praying for them. So, what are they saying to the politicians? That their wickedness is not a sin? That they should continue to steal? Or, that they should turn to God? One would hope that it is that they should turn to God! And if that is the case, why then do these politicians become more impudent in their crimes against the people, after church leaders leave their presence, and the church leaders remain mute?

How sad! But how do we rebuild our society and our lives to one that entrenches hard work, morality, and integrity? How do we restore the dignity of labour, and law and order to our lawless society? During the Civil Rights movement in America in the mid-1960s, when there were demonstrations, particularly, in the Southern States of the U. S. against the racist treatments of blacks in America, a white American preacher by the name of Billy Graham made a statement, which at the time was unpopular, but is nonetheless true: something to the effect that For as long as the heart of man is not turned to God in the right way, the problem of racism will not be solved. Indeed, this statement can be applied to every area of human endeavor. For, unless the heart of man is changed by God as he turns to God in genuine repentance for sin, and acknowledges his need for God, the principle of money-is-everything which has given birth to corruption and lawlessness, will continue to thrive, even in the highest Offices in the land; be they political, corporate, or, religious!

A hymnist wrote in part, My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand. If we are going to repair the terribly distorted grounds and corroding principles of our nation and society, and re-introduce effective law and order, fairness and equity in our justice system, the dignity of labour, integrity and ethics in business, and, morality in our daily living, it will have to be upon the solid Rock of Jesus Christ! The bible says in Proverbs 14:34, Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach [shame; disgrace] to any people. The only way any group of people can truly be exalted or lifted up is by the righteousness of God, which is in Christ Jesus, the solid Rock! A Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, sent by his government in the 19th Century to investigate and report back what it was that made America great wrote in part: I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbours and her ample rivers and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast commerce and it was not there; in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. How true! But even that nation is now gradually turning away from God, and with that, its greatness is beginning to slide! The cash exports of Cocoa, Groundnuts, Palm oil of the 1960s did not make Nigeria great; the parliamentary system of government did not make Nigeria great, neither the presidential system of government, nor the incursion of the military in politics; being the most populous black nation in the world does not make Nigeria great; being labeled the giant of Africa is not greatness; and, Crude oil and gas has not made Nigeria great; in fact, in some quarters, oil and gas is now seen as a curse!
Indeed, the greatness of any people can truly be judged by the messages coming out of the pulpits in the land. Messages of righteousness spark off repentance and revival in the hearts of men; whereas, unrighteous messages and messages based on human wisdom give rise to moral decadence and spiritual apathy! It is no wonder that there are fraudsters, cut throats, prostitutes, cultists, corrupt men and women, who have no intention of turning from their wicked ways, sitting comfortably in our pews! This is because the messages coming out of our pulpits for the most part, do not encourage people to seek after the righteousness of God; rather, it encourages them to pursue their own personal ambitions and desires, and personal wealth; neither does it speak against sin, rather, it seeks to make excuses for, and justify sin in the peoples lives!

Any society that will show true greatness must lay its foundation on the bedrock of Christ, the solid Rock. Hear what the Lord Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:24-27, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.

Friend, to build a society, a community, a people, a family, a business, and even your own life on a proper foundation, is to base transactions in that society, community, people, family, business, and life on the teachings and adherence to the word of God. Any society, any community, any people, any business, any man or woman, that will truly stand in spite of the upheavals taking place around it, will be a society, community, people, business, man or woman who is not only hearing the unadulterated word of God, but one who is also living by it! Perhaps you have been attending a church where the word of God is rare; get out of there and ask God to lead you to His own house where His word is truly preached, if indeed you want your life established on Christ. Perhaps you have been hearing the unadulterated word of God, and you are wondering why your pastor has not stopped preaching against sin, the flesh and the world, and rather preach about how people can make money and have more fun while in church and even hold a business seminar; let me first address that pastor: sir, keep on preaching and teaching the truth that is in the word of God, even if you are losing members; and to you the congregant, I say: stop being spoilt and rebellious, but submit yourself to the teachings of Christ at the mouth of your pastor. Or perhaps you dont care much for church or for Jesus Christ for that matter, my counsel to you is that you sit down first, and reflect, and you will see that unless Jesus Christ is in your life, and His teachings, form the basis on which you live, you will be going downhill into immorality and materialism, as you presently are.

Therefore, thus says the Lord to you today, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die (Ezekiel 33:11). Friend, I have given you the word of God, and I also add my voice: turn to God and live, and let the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus exalt you!

Let us pray!