Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.Luke 6:47-49
Lately I’ve been thinking, hearing, and reading about the journey God takes people on. I have been unfolding how God is more interested in our journey than our destination. I’ve looked at how God is a master storyteller. He loves the process just as much as the product. God isn’t the light at the end of the tunnel, He’s the light in the tunnel. And how God is always looking to build us through the process.
First I thought about the Gospels. The ultimate reason Jesus came was to die for our sins, and rise on the third day so that we may live with Him eternally. That didn’t happen until Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. There are pages and pages of preparation prior to the ultimatum. God is continually showing us who He is. That He is interested and intentional about the process. Without the process nothing would be successful.
To give context behind Luke 6:47, Jesus has been teaching many things about the Kingdom. Jesus didn’t want His teaching to be a waste of time. He actually intended His teachings to be life transforming messages. Much of what Jesus taught went against the religious teachings. Jesus flipped much of what people thought upside down. He makes this illustration of the man building his house to show the real benefits of His teaching, that it wasn’t just nice words. He said that if we apply what He teaches, and make it our foundation, nothing can destroy us. When we use His Word as our foundation then we can handle whatever life throws at us. When we have His foundation the strongest storm won’t even shake us.
Notice how Jesus isn’t concerned about the details of the house, only the foundation. When you have the truth of God as your foundation everything else will be sturdy. When you have the right foundation your marriage will be unshakeable, your finances will be in order, your friendships will flourish, your thoughts and emotions will remain steady. When you get the foundation right God trusts you enough to build up from there. God isn’t overly concerned about what your business is if it’s foundation is built on the rock.
Jesus didn’t ignore the storm. He describes the same storm coming against both the houses. The fact that you’re building on the rock doesn’t take you away from life’s difficulties. Building on the rock does keep you through the difficulties. Jesus Himself experienced all sorts of difficult moments. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted in all ways, but He never fell, the storms of life never overcame Him.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.Hebrews 4:15
Build Before The Storm
You can imagine how challenging it is to dig into a foundation of rock, especially when Jesus is speaking and there’s no equipment available. Now imagine trying to dig in the middle of a raging storm. It won’t be successful. Unfortunately we have a habit of pressing into God out of desperation instead of preparation. When everything seems to be falling apart is when we realize we need to change something in our life. When we feel like we have nothing it becomes easier to give God everything. Jesus tells us to do it the other way around. Do everything to prepare yourself before the storm. That’s how you become unshakeable.
We know that eventually storms will show up. Jesus gives us the keys. He teaches us about prayer, relationships, forgiveness, stewardship, and everything else. It’s our responsibility to apply those truths. I can assure you that it’s much easier to build the foundation of a healthy relationship than trying to hold everything together in the midst of a storm.
Sandcastles are much easier and faster to build, but one wave will bring them down. You can build a dirt hut and watch one mild rainstorm turn the entire thing into a muddy disaster. A foundation of rock is unshakeable. If building on the rock seems like a waste of resources take heart, you will see the benefits in due time.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.Galatians 6:9
Dig Down Deep
Jesus was real enough to recognize this is a difficult task. It’s not easy to accept and apply His teachings. It’s not easy to love your enemies, forgive people who hurt you, or pray for those who are trying their best to bring you down. God doesn’t call us to the easiest route. He calls us to the best route. Building a foundation upon rock requires persistence. Often it may seem like we aren’t making any progress, but when the storm rolls in we don’t need to worry. God is interested in our longevity rather than our immediate comfort. Sure, digging down deep into rock isn’t easy, but it’s easier than watching everything fall into destruction during a storm.
In the midst of a storm our foundation of God’s truth will allow us to keep our faith, hope, and love. The storm can be raging all around us, but it won’t steal our peace and trust in God. When we build on the rock we set ourselves up for longterm success. The only requirement is a willingness to keep going.
God doesn’t require or expect this overnight. Jesus understood that learning and applying His teachings is a journey. He knew that building a foundation is a process. He didn’t give a specification other than to dig down deep. I think this is something we choose to do on a daily basis. God isn’t into forced labor. He won’t make you dig any deeper. He won’t make you pray, forgive, or read the Bible. He won’t make you address problems. But there are benefits to all of that. The deeper that you decide to dig, the more unshakable your life will become. Everything in your life will strengthen as you continue building on the rock.