When I was in fifth grade, I went to California to visit my aunt for thanksgiving. while there, we spent an entire day on the beach and i spent the whole time playing in the sand and I built a really awesome sand castle. I put so much work into it. and it wasn't just sand, I added a scarf to it for decoration along with sticks, seashells, and rocks! I was so proud of that sand castle. after hours of playing and building and working, I realized that I had made one really big mistake. it as too late though because right as I realized this, a huge wave came rushing in and crashed into my sand castle and the castle just melting away. All of that hard work was gone, disappeared, nothing.
I, like many others I'm sure, stumbled through middle school and high school with the idea that I could build a sand castle called Jesus and that it would actually be able to sustain the waves of life. Man, was I wrong! I spent so much time packing in sand trying to build stable walls (that would fail) and not enough time in His word building a real relationship. I spent majority of my time treating God like a checklist item and not like the Father that He is.
In Matthew 7, there is a passage about building one's house on a firm foundation that is Christ instead of on sand. I think this passage is vital to the basis of following Christ. sometimes I catch myself placing hope and trust in worldly things that fall each and every time waves come in. I don't want my foundation to crumble every time something comes my way! I want something that can withstand, that can outlast, that can conquer! I want to be standing strong when things get hard, when stresses arise, when people are mean, when work stinks, when loved ones don't understand. I don't want to be washed away.
That is where God comes in. He is that foundation. He is that rock.
In john 15, abiding in Christ is a key point. The hebrew word for abide is meno, which means to rest in, to be held or kept, to remain. when Jesus talks about building our house on a firm foundation, He doesn't want us to just build it and leave. He expects us to live in the house. When I first read matthew 7, I just assumed that doing the work of building the house in the right place would be enough. but it isn't. I must also remain in the house and be held by Christ there. I must dwell in that place because Christ dwells in that place.
It's so easy to fall into the mindset that we need to put our all into building sand castles. I once heard a speaker say, "Sand castles are temporary, but God's kingdom is eternal." That is such an awesome analogy and great reminder. I think I speak for quite a few people when I say I would much rather set my sights on the stability and consistency of the kingdom that God has already created then try to substitute it with my own faulty castle.