A few weeks ago I was helping to bust up concrete in Andrew and Stacy's basement. It was quite a chore with non-stop sledge hammer, power concrete saw, chisel and crow bar. The foundation was old, tough, hardened cement from the 1950's.
As I labored away I noticed something that tended to help. After pounding on the concrete it would sometimes create a crack. I found that if I could place a chisel right at the crack and hit it with a hammer, I could start to exploit that crack and make it larger. Soon, I could get a pry bar in the crack and really start to do some damage. Eventually I could remove a chunk of concrete and then start again on the next section.
There are some great similarities between busting up concrete and the attempts at the work of destruction carried out by Satan:
· He is determined. He has promised that he will use everytool at his disposal to frustrate the work of the Lord.
· He works 365/24/7 and then some. His efforts to destroy our lives is non-stop.
· He will look for cracks in our foundation to exploit and use to create more and more destruction.
· Once he removes a chunk of our foundation he immediately starts on the next until the whole foundation crumbles.
If our foundations are built upon a sense of duty, or, the friendly social structure of the church, or, because we enjoy helping other people, or, we like power, influence and position, or, we enjoy the praise of men; whatever the reason, if our foundation is not built upon the Rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, we are sure to develop cracks in our foundation. Christ is the only foundation on which Satan cannot have any detrimental effect. The more we build our foundation on the Savior, the less attractive it is for Satan to come after us - he knows it is futile.
When we look at the temptation of Christ during His forty day fast, it seems there are three general categories in which Satan tries to tempt us.
1. Physical gratification - Satan will try to convince us that "if it feels good, it's okay." He will preach that taking care of #1 is the most important thing we can and should do. Immorality, pornography, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gluttony and a life of ease and selfishness is the devil's prescription for making us happy.
2. Power and position - Satan would like us all to build our foundations based on the praise of men, on being popular and going with the trends of the world. He knows the power of peer pressure and how we all want to be accepted and liked. He knows we can be proud and can enjoy the status that comes with holding a high-profile calling in the church, being a star athlete, holding a prestigious position in the corporate world or some organization, being prom queen, holding political office, etc. He knows the accolades of the world and the pride that comes with them can create strategic cracks in a foundation built on something other than Christ.
3. The wealth of the world - Affluency has a way of sometimes helping us to forget the things that are really important in life. Greed can become a driving force in our life and can blur our decisions to do the right thing. As Jacob in the Book of Mormon said, "before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God." The quest for wealth can be a very faulty, crack-ridden foundation.
Of course, there is one sure foundation that will never fall. As we learn in Helaman 5:12, Christ is the rock on whom we must build:
"...remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Let us be wise and build on the sure foundation! Anything else is akin to the foolish man who built his house upon the sand.