Think On This:
“Position – Not Condition”
- by Pastor Bob Prettyman
We all know that for a building to stand strong over time and be able to withstand changing conditions, which often comes with adverse circumstances, there must first be a good, firm and solid foundation. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus talked about “The Wise and Foolish Builders,” and from what Jesus said, it is clear that the difference between the Wise and the Foolish is found in the foundation upon which they build. Understanding this, it only makes good common sense that we now and then stop, look back, and check our foundation, realizing that life has changing times and seasons, and it is during certain times and seasons that there are situations and circumstances that arise and bring about conditions that – can we say – “Are less than favorable?” Therefore, it is important that we be a people who are careful not to fall into the trap of a deceived focus upon present conditions, but instead - being people indwelt with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1:17) - we keep our eyes fixed upon our sure and eternal position. Our eternal position, or in other words, our identity in Christ (the righteousness of God – 2nd Corinthians 5:21 and sons of God – John 1:12 KJV), is the foundation that the wise builder daily builds their life upon.
About 12 years ago I discovered cracks in the foundation that I was building my life upon. It was a foundation, whereon, whenever the winds blew and the storms arose, it seemed as if everything I hoped for, dreamed of and desired was about to come crashing down all around me. I did not understand it at that time, but I had been building higher and bigger, especially in the area of my ministry, upon a foundation that was flawed. And because my foundation had cracks and holes in it, I began to have questions and overwhelming disillusionment about Christianity, the Church, the teachings of faith, and the plan of God. It was during this time that I began asking, “Is this all there is,” and all the while hoping beyond all hope that somehow and somewhere there just had to be more to all of this. It is hard to put into words that clearly depict just how desperate I had become, and in this desperation I began to pray a very simple sounding prayer, simply asking the Lord to just reveal truth to me. I had to know truth, a truth that I could confidently walk in, boldly live by, and a truth that would powerfully equip me to truly make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Today, as I look back over the years, I must admit that I sometimes don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that I gave my life to the Lord on February 2, 1982. I entered full-time ministry in 1986, and now today, as I look back, it amazes me how long it took before I embarked on a journey searching for truth. However, in my defense, as I look back, I can see that at that time I thought I knew the truth and, therefore, who seeks that what they think they already have? Unfortunately, as it is for so many, it took me discovering a flawed foundation and a teetering life to begin to see that much of what has been labeled as truth – Gospel Truth – is really substandard building blocks of religion, denominational doctrines and the traditions of men. The truth is, much too much of what has been accepted as truth, has really been a watering down of the truth. Watered down truth will always be less in quality, and will always be weakened and made ineffective in producing the greatest of results. Watered down truth is a flawed foundation, and over the long haul it will not stand up courageously, unshakeable and unquestioning to the storms of life.
Watered down truth is a flawed foundation because it is a foundation that lacks the key ingredient of revelation knowledge. In Hosea 4:6 God said, “My people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.” In Isaiah 5:13 God said, “My people have gone into captivity because they lack knowledge.” Notice that in both Hosea and Isaiah God says, “MY PEOPLE.” He did not say, the world, the heathen, or the lost or the damned. God said, “MY PEOPLE.” Hosea 4:6 and Isaiah 5:13 is an eternal word, therefore, it speaks to God’s people yesterday and today, and because it does, lacked knowledge – the spiritual void of lacking revelation by the Spirit of God – still threatens with destruction and captivity.
Building when there is the lack of knowledge – revelation – is to build upon a foundation of ignorance. It is an ignorance that blinds to the truth that – it’s not so much that sickness and disease destroys. It’s not poverty and lack that destroys or depression, worry, fear and the deceptive anxieties of life, but it is the flawed, faulty foundation of a watered down truth. A truth that is absent of revelation opens us up to and leaves us vulnerable to everything coming apart at the seams and to eventually come crashing down. LISTEN – situations and circumstances are the storms of life. They are the adverse conditions that come, they blow, and in time they do go. But, if the foundation lacks revelation of truth, then when the storms of life come, and when they blow, it is the house that is threatened to go! This is why the wise builder knows that it is not the condition, but it is our position. The question that must be asked and answered is – “What is more real to us at any given moment? Is it the present condition of life or the revelation of our eternal position within the Author of our lives?”
In John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart (be of good cheer)! I have overcome the world.” Here Jesus spoke of peace. He also spoke of trouble in this world, which are the storms that come, blow and go. He then said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” May I just point out at this time, that it is one thing to know what Jesus said, but it is a totally different and life-changing reality to have revelation of His words. I have first-hand knowledge and personal experience that when the foundation is flawed, then the conditions of life always appear more real than our position in Christ. And when the conditions begin to cloud out our position, then the troubles of this world become a greater reality than the finished work of Heaven. Revelation of the finished work of Heaven (Jesus Christ and Him crucified) is our constant, unending peace. When you boil it all down, peace is the sought after prize. Peace in an individual life, in the home, and throughout the world is highly coveted. But, peace is progressively built within and without and, therefore, if it is not built upon a foundation of revelation, it will not last or stand.
Part two of “Position – Not Condition” follows below.