Saturday, November 22, 2014

Firm Foundation

Everyone who comes to me and hears My words and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built (founded upon a rock).  Luke 6:47 and 48

OK, we need not have a degree as a contractor to understand the things we can glean from this parable that Jesus spoke to us. Of course many of us have heard this passage our entire lives. But do we really grasp what it is saying? It was generally just explained as “Well, just build your life on Jesus and everything will be great when the storms of life come.” As was the case with many sermons that I heard in my years within the organized church, that I can remember anyway, we often topically blew over key points that I now read and ponder upon. I believe it would do us some good to slow down.

Could we close our eyes and imagine the man who builds this house? He attains the materials necessary, we know not how. Perhaps he purchased them with the fruits from his own labors. Perhaps they were supplied to him by his Master. Either way, he constructed a house with purpose. It’s irrelevant what the house looked like but Jesus makes no mention of it being an awesome mansion shrouded in gold and silver. The house that is like the one that hears Jesus’ words and acts upon them isn’t one about exterior flair or extravagance. Jesus could have told us to construct a house that looks pleasing on the outside but for all we know, the house could be a one-room shack without anything that would interest most of us at first glance.  It’s all about what is unseen - the foundation. It’s all about the foundation.

If we stay within the visuals of this parable, I see the key as being the process of the digging. Too often we just say “OK. So the guy who pleases Jesus builds his house on Jesus. Got it.” and we move on thinking it will somehow just happen. Maybe we think, spiritually speaking, that one night at a revival service it “happened” or that it somehow it magically takes place on Sunday mornings from eleven to noon. Have you ever driven past a jobsite where one morning crews were starting to clear an area for construction and then by sundown the same day a building was fully erected? Of course that’s ridiculous but too often Christiandom promotes this ludicrous proposition as realistic for one’s spiritual life. Make a “decision” to build your house upon Jesus and off you go! How many spiritual failures have come from this faulty approach?

It would be so much more beneficial for us to understand that it’s an ongoing process - this digging and establishing of our foundation – erecting this house that will stand whatever comes its way. A “well built” house, as Jesus said, will not be shaken. A foundation that has been painstakingly established on Christ, with great labor and toil, will provide the necessary strength to hold strong when we’re battered by all kinds of trials and storms. We’ll have to sacrifice things to build. We’ll have to focus on the unseen. We’ll have to commit to embark on the process. I’m reminded of when Jesus said “He who endures (suffers and perseveres) to the end will be saved” (Matt 24:13). Stay in the process.

I want to be a man that hears the Master’s words and acts upon them. The floods and waves are coming and are already here. Only those who have invested the time to dig and build as we’re instructed will stand. Let we who have taken on the banner of Christ consign to labor in our construction of houses that please the Lord and whether the storms. Lord, help us. Instruct us. Enable us. We long to stand.

No comments: