Remember the story of the three little pigs? Each built a house – straw, sticks, and bricks. The big bad wolf huffed and puffed on all three but only one was built to last. It sounds a little like a story Jesus told of two men who each built a house, one on the sand and one on a rock. When the storms came only one was built to last. Life is full of storms and big bad wolves. When they growl and blow on the dreams of your life will they last or will you join the ranks of the discouraged and disillusioned due to your shattered dreams?
This is the graduation season and many young dreamers are looking with anticipation into the new challenges and possibilities of life’s next phase. Current job data is not encouraging for this year’s crop of graduates. However, this news is not what is most important to realizing their dreams. In the course of a full natural life these positive and negative cycles will change many times over. What is important is how the person is building their life. Will they build a life that can stand against a dream destroyer? Building to last requires three essentials – a solid foundation, a wise builder, and quality materials.
A Solid Foundation
Back to the Jesus story of the two men and the two foundations (Matthew 7.24-27). One man built on the sand. The other man built on the rock – a solid foundation. When the storms came it was easy to tell who built to last. In using this metaphor what did Christ say was a solid foundation? In this passage Jesus said a solid foundation was being willing to listen to His words and obey them.
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3.11 said there is only one solid foundation to build a life upon – Jesus Christ. What does it mean to build on the foundation of Christ? It means to believe Christ was who He claimed to be – God in the flesh, the redeemer of the world. To believe means a person enters a personal relationship with Christ by turning from sin and accepting His finished work on the cross as payment for their sins. The evidence of a genuine faith is shown in a willingness to surrender control of your life over to Christ and live in obedience to His teachings. God gives a “new heart” with His desires in it and the grace to carry out those new desires to those who humble their will to His.
A Wise Builder
As important as the foundation is it is equally as important to have a builder who wisely considers how he is building upon this foundation (1 Corinthians 3.8-9). Is the builder a “handy man”, a licensed contractor or a skilled master craftsman? It is the latter who knows how to build to last. This builder will not cut corners with either his materials or his quality of work. There is a pride of workmanship and a willingness to attach his own name to the finished product.
When it comes to life dreams God is both the architect and the builder. He designs each life dream for His specific purpose. He then asks us to trust Him, the design, and that His purpose is the best and highest use of our life. No one else could improve upon the design or the construction.
As the wise Master Builder God gives each person the dream and He will bring it to pass (Psalm 37. 4-5). There will be times when challenges attack the dream and seem to scatter it in so many pieces that any attempt to reconstruct it appears impossible – the dream is dead. Why does God allow it? Only God can resurrect the dead. He shows us that His dream can only be fulfilled through His power. A dream built to last is designed to glorify God alone.
Paul tells us about building materials in 1 Corinthians 3.12-13. He likens them to gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw. Sounds a lot like the three pigs. When the materials are tested by fire guess which ones are left standing? Common sense tells us the better quality the materials the more lasting the building. In life quality materials are about motive, character.and source for the materials. These are all controlled by the architect and builder. When it comes to building a life with dreams that last it is all about Christ – the Foundation, the Master Builder, and the Source of quality materials. If this is the way God builds to last why would we try any other building model?