Matthew 7:24-27 (the message)
“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit — but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
But if you just use my words in Bibles studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
I noticed something while reading this scripture. The house built on the rock wasn’t moved and it faced a storm, a flooding river and a tornado. Yet the house built on the sand wasn’t stable enough to face even the waves coming in. I believe these verses speak to the heart of our foundation in life. See, the storms are going to come. If you live on planet earth, you will face hard times. And if you have lived giving God’s Word a nod but never really incorporating His truths into how you live, your foundation will be shaky. The truth is there is a difference in acknowledging Him and living for Him. When all we are, all we have and all we hope to be is thrust upon His mercy our foundation becomes strong…built on the rock.
I share quite a bit on this blog about what God has done in my family. And when I read these verses I can’t help but think about my marriage and family. When my husband and I married, our foundation was not on the rock. Our foundation was quite flimsy, if we even had one. I say that because I think we could only draw from ourselves, what we knew to do and with the weight of our past bearing down on us. Weak plus Weak equals Weak. We eventually got back into church. We wanted to have God in our family and I believe we both knew we were completely sunk without Him. But here is the thing: we could go to church all we wanted. We could sing songs there and ask God every day to change our marriage. And I believe we were making progress in our journey as we reached out, after all you have to start somewhere. But it wasn’t until we began working His Word into our lives that a healthy foundation was constructed. See, a healthy foundation built upon Jesus and a willingness to do what He says will weather any storm.
My marriage began to heal. I began to heal. Perfection will not be reached on planet earth. Hardships will still come. But because we now draw upon the rock we are safe. I could agree that God’s love as described in 1Corinthians 13 sounded good, but until I was willing to work those words into my life the fruit of them would not come. When love is described as not keeping score of the sins of others, that means no matter God did not want me to keep a mental list of offenses I had suffered. When Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have, that means that instead of getting hung up on what someone else’s marriage looked like I would remain focused on the good in mine and trust God to work. When Love doesn’t force itself on others, that means I couldn’t demand my own way or try to manipulate my husband. When the Bible says Love puts up with anything, it means I put up with anything. Love doesn’t give up. When the Bible says Love doesn’t fly off the handle, it means taking a deep breath and give up the fight. Surrender to God’s peace and let Holy Spirit help me practice self-control.
I wouldn’t begin to pretend I live out God’s love and Word flawlessly! Goodness, no! But I have seen what working His Word, building a foundation on the Rock, produces. I am living in the fruit of surrender and obedience. And I believe the more I learn to obey, the more I am willing to surrender, the more fruit I will see from it. See, I have lived in the house of cards…the one built on the sandy beach. The waves came and threatened to blow us away. But there was Jesus. Beckoning…and because we so needed stability we took Him at His Word. It has become much more than what I follow Pastor with on Sundays. His Words, worked into the decisions we make and how we live, make us strong in Him.
Even if we grow up on a shaky, sandy foundation and its all we know, God can rebuild for us. Even if we live with the sands of hurt and hardship encroaching on every room in our hearts, God can clear out and clean up the mess! Even if we have no idea where to start…God will lead us, if we are willing, to the answer for each day. If you’ll read 1st Corinthians 13 every day, it will take root in your heart. And you will hear God whisper a reminder to you of what His love looks like at just the right time. If we are willing to make His whisper more than a Bible Study, we will be amazed at what His love in action will do. His love can fix us. Fix us to the Rock.