Sunday Reflections – A Foundation with No Building is Just a Swimming Pool

For 30 years, the Moskva Pool (Moscow Pool) was the largest open air swimming pool in the world. Originally the foundation for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the church was demolished to make way for the Palace of Soviets. That palace was never built. Construction began in 1938 and was abandoned three years later when the steel for the project was instead used for war material during World War II. The foundation was then made into a swimming pool.

Without a building, a foundation has little purpose. And certainly, a foundation is not even built without plans for a building to be built on top of it. In a spiritual sense, however, foundations are built often without anything being built on top of them.

Let’s be clear that for a Christian, the only true foundation is Christ, and the life of a Christian exists as “God’s building.” At some point, someone laid the foundation of Christ in the life of a Christian. Then, the process of sanctification (holiness or being set apart) hopefully takes place and builds a “building” that will survive the fire (1 Corinthians 3:9-15).

This process of sanctification serves as the building process that takes place over a Christian’s life. But what if that process never takes place? What if the foundation remains but is never used for its intended purpose? As with the Moskva Pool, the foundation will have to settle for less rather than for fulfilling its intended purpose.

Fortunately, Christians don’t have to settle. Through the process of living the Christian life and by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us to conform us to the image of Christ, Christians can build upon the foundation that is Christ. The following points exist as crucial aspects of that process.

  1. Be willing to be pruned. The Word of God prunes in order to prepare Christians to bear fruit. Likewise, life’s circumstances lead to additional pruning that allows for the process toward perfection to continue.  Be teachable and willing to change.
  2. Understand that there’s always more. Even when a building is complete, there’s always maintenance needing done. There’s always cleaning that needs to happen. As a Christian continually spends time with God, the light gets brighter to allow cobwebs and dust to become obvious even in the deepest and hidden corners. Stay open to correction.
  3. Focus on the top priority. A building is usually built for a very specific purpose. Likewise, a Christian exists to be with Jesus. That is our #1 calling. As we focus there, we remain joined to our Heavenly Father (John 15:1-6). Remember that your focus determines your reality.

For the Christian, sanctification comes through living a life of excellence. In practical terms, this means gradually increasing in the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This lifelong commitment comes as we walk daily in obedience to Christ. This process of sanctification exists in a progressive sense in that we increase in holiness as we conform to the will of God.

Not sure where to start? Consider Paul’s advice for how to live life in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12. He advises living a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands. Doing so sets a good example for others as well as creates a life that “lacks nothing.” A quiet life, one absent of focus on constant drama, earns respect, which opens doors for sharing Jesus. Such a life allows Christians to live out the sanctification process in a way that encourages others to build on the foundation that already exists and to ensure they fulfill their purposes rather than just settling for anything less.

On a final note, realize that the best time to build on the foundation is now. Learn from the past and then move forward. While the Moskva Pool remained a foundation that missed its purpose for 30 years, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was eventually reconstructed, thus returning the foundation to its original purpose. Christians don’t have settle for where they are with building materials being used for other purposes. Returning to Christ is always an option.

DISCUSSION: What are some things that distract us from building on the foundation of Christ in our lives? What steps can you take today to eliminate distracts and return to His will?

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10 thoughts on “Sunday Reflections – A Foundation with No Building is Just a Swimming Pool

  1. Great post, Kari. I love the part about how a foundation was built with a purpose in mind but if the building isn't finished, the purpose will never be filled. I'm praying He will keep me focused on Him and His Word so I don't start working on a building He doesn't want me to build.

  2. Kari, I love your starting place . . . "a quiet life, minding your own business, and working with your hands." In a time when everyone wants to know everyone else's drama this is a wonderful reminder. "Turning off those things that distract and building on the foundation of Christ!" By God's grace I am enjoying a quiet day, and you have just confirmed the nudge I've been feeling to spend my day peacefully with Jesus. Thanks and Blessings.

    • Deb, I am blessed to know this post nudged you in this way. Living as Paul suggests truly does make for a peaceful life. That doesn't mean without trial, but it does mean peace through trials. Enjoy your day!

  3. Wow, what an awesome illustration. I'm going to steal that next time I'm teaching on this subject.
    I think the key to our sanctification is managing the tension between how far we've come and how far we have yet to go. Seeing the Spirit's work in our lives and seeing real progress inspires us to continue the journey further. But having the humility to see how far we have yet to go lights a fire in us to work and strive towards our sanctification.

    • Thanks. Steal away, my friend. Balance, once again, turns out to be the key. I read something about humility the other day that is changing my thinking. The Greek word for humility does not mean to think less of yourself; it means to not think of yourself at all. Not sure how this fits in with all this, but I think of it every time the word humility comes up now. I welcome thoughts on this.

  4. Hey, Kari. Glad that you shared something about Moscow. I was there 23 years ago and would love to go back one day. I like the picture of building maintenance, too. I'm speaking on the fruit of peace this month and on pruning. Very timely. Thanks!

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