If we fall after we have been born again, we have a deficiency in our foundation. Through these experiences, God is exposing the deficiencies in order to reveal the truth. (The Foundation Stones, p. 5)
My response to my "falls" has been to get up and try not to do the same thing again, to abstain from whatever it was. But that's just salvation by works. I'm not really getting to the truth that God wants to reveal. I'm stopping at the exposure of weakness, trying to "squeak by" That's not maturity and completeness in Christ. It's pride: knowing that I avoided all the little traps. And pride is of no benefit to me at the end of the day.
If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8: 31-32
Jesus didn't teach legalism. In fact, he took people's black-and-white thoughts about right and wrong and encouraged them to move toward a real understanding of truth. Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Let's look at this more closely. Is healing work? Work isn't about spending energy, and holiness isn't about whether or not you spend energy. Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? (And the implied question: is healing doing good?) The bottom line is who is the object of focus in what you do on the Sabbath?
The foundations built in many churches today have two main deficiencies. They not only hinder our walk with Christ but often render it useless because we don't understand God's heart and will for us.
. Foundations not founded on a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ - but rather on WORKS.
Churches often take our initial small flame of desire for God and apply it to works instead of allowing the Lord to consume and strengthen it.
. Foundations not built on DISCIPLESHIP (the "deeper life").
The real problem for me was that "foundation building" was limited to activities that happened in the church building. That isn't how it's supposed to be. Discipleship takes more than that. This is something discussed later, and I'm going to postpone my discussion of discipleship until that point. Right now I need to concentrate on understanding what's here.
I was not discipled by the church. I "got saved" and expected (as I was expected) to experience some sort of Damascus-style life change. Certainly some people do experience these things, but most life-changing salvation is a process. I think the reason that I had any workable foundation at all was that I had "pit experiences" very early in life that forced me to choose between looking to God for strength and wisdom or committing suicide. That sounds so dramatic, but it really is the truth. My choice to look to God allowed Him to disciple me where people did not. Sadly, I did a lot of other things that "quenched the Spirit" in my life, and this has resulted in deficiencies in my foundation.