A couple months ago, I decided that it was about the time in my life that I should move out on my own and buy my first home. A year ago, I had a very different idea of how this stage in my life would have looked like, but I realize now more than ever just how sovereign God is and how His thoughts and ways are so much higher than mine. He has given me the opportunity to do this with Him and I have found so much joy in this process. While I have not decided on a home yet, something I keep in mind while looking at the various possibilities, is how strong is the foundation and how safe is the neighborhood. Of course, I want it to look a specific way and have specific amenities, but the main importance is will it be a strong enough house to withstand storms and such, and is it in an area where it is not at risk of being broken into.
This process of looking for a new house and keeping an eye out for important qualities made me think about a parable that Jesus once told about wise and foolish builders. I want to break down the very words of Jesus and give a deeper look at the importance of a strong foundation, both in a home and in our walks with Christ. This incredible illustration given by Christ was documented in both the books of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. And though they are both very similar, I think it is important to read both and understand just what He intended in both accounts.
- Matthew 7:24-27 ~ “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
- Luke 6:46-49 ~ “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Now there is a lot to be taken from both these verse and I would love to talk about every single message being portrayed here, but that would be something to write my own book about, not a blog. I really want to break this down into four different categories in order to try and organize the correlations a little more fluently.
- “Put them into practice” – Something that I find very interesting is that in first part of this parable, on both accounts, Jesus talks about hearing His words and “putting them into practice.” Putting something into practice is to use something in an actual situation(s) or to apply something in a necessary circumstance. When we hear the Word of the Lord, Jesus says we are called to not only hear it, but also put what is being told into practice, or action. It is not enough that we just hear the Truth, we need to walk in it, live in it. Our actions are examples of the fruits of the Spirit, and we can only obtain those through the Holy Spirit. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22. This is not a direct correlation to a house and its foundation necessarily, but it is rather a deeper explanation as to what Jesus intended to explain through this parable. We are called to put the Word of God into practice, into action! The rest of the parable is a cause and effect of what happens when we do or do not put the Word into action, not just thought.
- “Laid foundation on the rock” – Now we start to get deeper into the house and its foundation. When building a house, the first thing you must do is build a proper, sturdy foundation for it to sit upon. After doing some research, step one is to investigate the conditions of the place you are building on. Well, in this parable, it talks about building your house on the rock. Now this struck me as very familiar and upon investigating, I came across Psalms 18:2, which says “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Throughout history it has been known that castles and kingdom were often built on a strong rock or hill that gave them an advantage over their enemies. They could see the enemy coming because of their strategic location and it gave them a stronghold. That is what God is in this parable. He is our fortress, our place of refuge. He gives us an advantage over the enemy by telling us in scripture when he will strike and how we can overcome him through Christ! After examining our foundation, being God, He proves over and over without fail to be the only foundation we can truly rest on.
- Storms; “Rain, wind, & flooding” ~ In both verses, the reasons for building the foundation on the rock is because that is the only place the house can withstand the storms that would come. It talks about how the “rain came down, the streams rose, and winds blew and beat the house… floods came and the torrent struck the house.” How often do we go through these kinds of “storms” in our lives and throughout our walks with the Lord? I was praying the other day about the victims of hurricane Harvey and Irma, and how absolutely devastating the storms were. The houses are mangled, uplifted, dragged away by the many feet of water that came from the storm. And it kind of sounds like that is the illustration in these verse. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…” Isaiah 43:2. The house on the rock, which has a sturdy foundation, did indeed get hit by the winds and rain and flooding, but since it was established on the Lord, it “could not be shaken.” When we are firmly founded on the Lord and His Word, though we will most certainly have storms crashing against us, we will not be destroyed by them. We will endure the storm and still stand strong with Him as our rock, our solid foundation!
- Building “on sand” ~ So now that we see what it looks like to build on a strong foundation, lets look at how Jesus says we will be if we build upon shifting sands; an uneven ground. “…The moment the torrent struck the house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete… it fell with a great crash.” Notice how it says “the moment..” when it is struck, not after a while of withstanding the waves. The very moment trials come our way, we will be destroyed, and will collapse if there is not a strong foundation built on the Lord. We are unable to withstand that kind of devastation if we do so outside of the presence of God. It is so easy to be swept away by sin and wickedness when we aren’t allowing Christ to be our foundation, and Jesus clearly warns against this as well.
You know it is funny how God works, while walking through my current home, I noticed a crack in the grout line in the kitchen and realized that it was due to the foundation cracking. Just in seeing that, God erected the thought of the verses of the wise and foolish builders and I am so grateful He did! I pray that this is used as not only a warning against being someone who builds their home on sand, but as encouragement to those who have indeed built upon the Lord, a firm foundation and mighty stronghold. When, not if, the storms come, trust Christ when He said that “…the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” God is our rock and we will not be swept away, destroyed, or brought to collapse because of Him and Him alone. Be the one to build your house on the rock; be the one who hears the Words of the Lord and puts them into practice! God bless, my brothers and sisters, and know that I am praying that your week goes well!