“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
I don’t think any person would say that they’d rather build their house on sand. We all know the outcome. The first storm will begin to erode the foundation. How many storms will it take to topple the house? Not many. Craftsmanship and architectural creativity will have nothing to do with the outcome. Expensive trappings will all become rubble. Remember the last picture you saw of homes devastated by an F5 tornado? You couldn’t tell the difference between a mansion and a shack. Rubble is rubble.
This parable applies to so many levels of life. Personally, I need to do what it takes to build my own foundation. Knowing God, knowing His Word, cultivating spiritual disciplines out of passion and desire for God, these are the things that will become my bedrock. I will become like the tree in Psalm 1 that does not move when the storms batter against me. But this parable also applies small groups. It applies to every single church that claims to worship God. It applies to the leader of a home who determines whether his house will be strong against the current of our godless times.
Will each of us do what it takes to build a rock solid foundation? Otherwise:
- I will have no divine perspective on anything that happens to me. I’ll take everything personally and seek fairness, justice, and love from my self-imposed throne. My life will crumble with me at the helm.
- My home will consist of an ignorant and immature group of adults and children who don’t know the mind and heart of God. We’ll look impressive in good times but when the first storm hits, no one will have a refuge for comfort or a counselor for wisdom.
- My small group will consist of baby Christians who are battered by life. Self-pity, resentment, and selfish ambition will be the ugly beasts at every meeting. Without strong teaching, we will become a huddled group of sand castles – trying to hold each other up when the wind blows. The outcome is not promising.
- My church will consist of pews of baby Christians. Church experience will be based on tradition and ritual rather than Spirit-driven worship. People will languish for lack of knowledge from Monday to Saturday and learn not to expect answers on Sunday. The foundation of every, and any, church will erode without a leadership committed to build on the Rock who is Christ Jesus. To refuse to do so is to incur God’s judgment. Spiritual prosperity will slip like sand through his fingers.
If I stand on a beach during a storm, I am pelted with the sand that the winds kick up. There is nowhere to hide. In and among the rocks however, there is refuge and protection.
Give us the spiritual grit to commit ourselves to fortify our foundations. In Jesus’ name, Amen