I want to express some thoughts I had after reading an interesting article on CharismaMag.com, titled "Are You Building for the Storm"? This isn't going to be a post detailing the upheaval in the world, or prophesying a doomsday scenario. But rather, I want to share a different message; one I've been contemplating since I was struck by a passage that the writer of the article quoted from Matthew 7:24-27. In these verses, Jesus makes the following statement: “All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock. But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on sand. For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash".
Keep in mind that this passage is at the end of a long discourse by Jesus in what is known as His Sermon on the Mount, which actually covers Chapters 5-7 in Matthew. These three chapters appear to comprise Jesus's first official sermon, and are what He is referring to as "My instructions" in Matthew 7:24. He teaches the people who have gathered to hear Him about the Blessings of those who surrender to Him (the Beatitudes), and that He came to Fulfill the Law and to usher in the Kingdom of God on earth. That means He is going to change their perspective as He offers moral teachings on Anger, Lust, Divorce, and Oaths. He instructs the people that they should abandon an "eye for an eye" theology, and instead, love their enemies. He teaches on the importance of giving to the needy, and shows them how to properly pray to their Father in Heaven. He counsels them on fasting, and to lay up their treasures in Heaven, rather than trying to earn them here on earth. Jesus tries to show them the futility of worry and anxiety, for their Father knows what they need. Seek after the Kingdom and God's righteousness and all their needs will be met. Finally, He winds down His sermon by showing them what an intimate relationship with the Father looks like ... He educates the crowd on the concept of judging others; of the Father's heart to give the righteous what we ask for. He then gives a series of warnings: be intentional to follow the narrow path through the gate to Heaven for the gate that is wide leads to destruction. He advises that the people be able to discern those who are deceitful, and to recognize those who bear good fruit for God's Kingdom. Because the starkest warning is yet to come ... there are those who think they are walking that narrow path towards their heavenly inheritance, but He will deny them, saying, "I never knew you"!
AND THEN comes the last portion of His sermon; the passage that I quoted from Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus makes it clear that everyone who was paying attention to these lessons He was teaching, and followed the instructions, were wise. He or she would be like a man who built his house on the solid foundation of rock. Now, we know that Jesus is our rock and the foundation of our faith, but for just a moment, let's consider why it is literally sound judgment to build a house upon real, actual rock. I consulted a site that gave 5 reasons why rock is your best choice for a foundation.
The primary purpose of your house's foundation is to hold your house up, even when the ground below it changes. A rock foundation provides the better support than sand, which tends to shift. Secondly, a rock foundation resists movement. Forces in the natural world are always working against your foundation, and rock can resist the weight of those forces by transferring the load to the rock that surrounds the home. Sand will easily be displaced, causing cracks in the foundation. Thirdly, a good solid rock foundation will insulate your home to keep it comfortable in the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. Sand easily allows tree roots to grow into the soil below the foundation, allowing water and moisture to seep into the foundation, resulting in eventual structural damage. And finally, a good foundation made of rock will keep your home from being infiltrated by bugs and creatures that can threaten the integrity of your structure. Sand just invites that kind of penetration.
So, Jesus, being a carpenter, knows the implications He is making about the solidness of the foundation of a structure. And if He is the rock, and the structure is our body; our life; our ministry, our purpose, then can you see that in order for us to stand, our strength and foundation must be found in His support; His ability to help us resist the weight of spiritual forces coming against us; allowing Him to insulate us and guard us against those powers that seek to infiltrate our faith and cause it to disintegrate? If our faith is built on anything else it will not stand the pressures of this world. Neither your identity in this world; nor money and material things; neither jobs nor status; physical appearance; technology; religion; family; or fame can build your faith strong enough to withstand the outside pressure of serious illnesses like cancer; or comfort you at the loss of a loved one; or support you when you feel isolated and alone behind enemy lines.
So, what do you build your foundation of faith upon? If it's anything but Jesus, then it is shifting sand, and you will find yourself on uneven ground. The rain and the wind and the floods --- the storms of life --- will leave you unsettled and destabilized. A foundation of Jesus, the solid rock upon which our faith is built, will sustain, strengthen, and support us through the tempests of life. I can't imagine the fear, worry, and anxiety of trying to wage war against the forces that come against us in this world if Jesus is not our foundation! I ask you to take a moment and do a self-check. Have you allowed anything or anyone else to dethrone Jesus as the foundation of your faith? Do you rely on anything or anyone else to be the power and authority of your faith? Jesus, Himself, tells us that when those storms come, if we do not build our structure's foundation on the rock, then we can expect that it will immediately fall, and the ruin and destruction of our structure of faith will be great. But we, who know Jesus as the living stone, precious and holy, will weather the storms that come against us. We will endure, overcome, and resist in confidence and boldness. The truth is this: we will not be shaken when we can proclaim Jesus is our only rock, our salvation, and our fortress!
#jesusisourrock #foundationofourfaith #uponthisrock #jesus #rockofages
1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy like the Lord; there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God.