We are being reminded over and over again about the power of hurricanes and storms to destroy, pummel and even take people’s lives. In some areas, there is less damage than others, not because the storms are weaker, but because of how the buildings and houses have been built.
Jesus made a comparison about two ways a person may live his or her life. He said in Matthew 7:24 – 27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Not everyone who hears the words and teachings of Jesus puts them into practice. He talked about the two ways of basing our lives. We can either base our lives on our own ideas, experiences and what other people are doing, or we can base our lives on the principles that He teaches us. In the principles and teachings of Jesus we find the answer to every type of life-problem and situation that we may experience. One thing that He made clear is this: we all go through tests, trials and storms in life – there are no exceptions.
You might look at the people around you and think they have an easy life, that it’s all cupcakes and rainbows for them. But Jesus makes it clear: everyone has problems and fears and storms. The person that sits next to you with a smiling face might actually be dying inside. The happy-go-lucky neighbor or co-worker might be considering suicide or may be totally depressed. Jesus said that in this world we all have tribulations. That’s the way it is in this world and in life. John 16.33 says, – “…in the world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
To illustrate this principle, Jesus described two house builders. One of them didn’t bother with establishing a good foundation. The other spent extra time and expense to be sure that his house would be sturdy, strong and withstand any storms that may come along. He realized that even though he currently was having good weather, in the future there would be storms, winds and pressures that would absolutely shake his house to the foundation. He didn’t want to find out too late that what he had built just wasn’t enough to get him through the storms. You’ll always have problems because you’re on planet earth. Notice that both the home builders had winds, rains, downpours and gale forces coming against them. One house stood and one fell. Some who are reading this post will not make it when storms come. The one whose house successfully withstood the storm had built on the rocky layer that was a bit deeper beneath the surface. That is where he began his building. John 1.1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word…” – The wise builder made sure that he based EVERYTHING on the WORD – he built his life based on the Word of God – that’s what Jesus said. He not only KNEW the word, but he ACTED on it.
Many people know God’s words, but they don’t act on them. The Bible says “faith without works is dead.”
That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 7.24 that it’s not just about hearing the word, but DOING them. There is more to being a Christian than simply accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There is ACTING on the Word of God, doing actions of faith. It is more than JUST accepting Christ – it is actually DOING things.
In 1 Corinthians :3, God says, “for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” He isn’t talking about just doing “bad things.” He isn’t talking about cigarettes, pornography, cussing or the lottery. He was talking about Christians who are living by their senses – what you hear and feel and experience – as opposed to walking in the Spirit. A person may be saved, but on the other hand isn’t truly a DOER of the Word.
A lot of people are like those people in Corinthians. They live their lives based on how they feel, what they feel like doing, what they felt pressured to do and on their impulses. They don’t live their day to day lives based on the principles of the Word of God. They depend on their moods and experiences which are guaranteed to fluctuate daily. Their ideas, words and actions are shaped by what goes on around them, by what they hear on the news, read online or hear on the radio. That’s what the Bible calls “walking carnally.”
In Proverbs 4:23, God tells us to guard our hearts diligently. “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” God tells us to guard our hearts, to be careful what we let in; be careful what we allow ourselves to think on and speak on. Whatever we allow to flow in will influence us. That is what the word “influence” means:to “flow in.” Jesus said that our mouth speaks out of the overflow of our hearts. Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
If you let circumstances rule your heart, and to control the words of your mouth, and that will be what sets the course of your life.
At our house, when it storms, my wife Linda makes sure the house windows are closed, and I make sure the car windows are closed and the shed and garage doors are shut. We don’t want those storms on the outside to come inside!
You need to know that NO ONE can make you DO or SAY anything. YOU choose what you do. You choose what you say. You choose what you think on and meditate on. You choose what you let in. You choose how you react. So, you need to be careful to guard your heart – what you let in determines what comes out and what happens in your life. What you believe is true affects what you do. What you allow come inside controls what comes out and your life and what you do.
Jesus says the wise person will act on His Word. Allow the Word of God to shape your life! Too many people let their feelings and responses keep them from the word. You can’t respond to EVERYTHING. Business people can put selves out of business by responding to what everyone else is saying and doing. Do what YOU can do and let others respond the way they want. No matter how negative the people around you are, you just keep doing the right thing because you know that you will be getting the right results. Build on the rock of God’s word and don’t allow those who aren’t living for God direct your path. Too many Christians live their lives only responding. When you leave doors and windows open and let the storm in, you’ll be cleaning up messes while others are dry, snug and cozy! When your house is built on the ROCK, it will go through those storms and remain undamaged.
The Apostle Paul was referring to this principle in 1 Corinthians 3.10.11 when he said, – “According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no one lay than the One that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. You are temple of Holy Spirit and will stand. There is no problem that the Holy Spirit doesn’t have the answer to and the strength for. There is no storm you can’t survive because Jesus is a ROCK. The disciples faced the storm, but the wind and waves obeyed Jesus! Get that: The winds and the waves obeyed the Word! Jesus can calm your storm.
When you read the Word of God, and listen to what the Holy Spirit says to you through it – and obey it, or ACT on it, your faith grows. Faith that can calm your storm, and you will stand!“By faith you stand!” What you acknowledge as true literally is the foundation of your life, whether it is the rock of the Word of God or the shifting sands of your emotions, feelings and carnal knowledge received by the five senses.
As a Christian, you acknowledge the Word of God is true – but what do you ACT on? See, that second builder listened and believed, like a lot of Christians do, but it didn’t shape what he did. Many believe – but they ACT on depression, politics, news, gossip, religious traditions, mood swings, bodily desires and anything else that is carnal. God lets us know that what you ACT on is what you REALLY believe is true.
You might sing that old chorus “Jehovah Jireh” but then say “I can’t pay my tithes or help anyone else.” Many Christians acknowledge their lacks instead of acknowledging what God has provided. And, when storms come, they fall. What do you believe about the power of JESUS IN YOU? He can overcome your temper, your bad habits, drugs, mood swings, addictions, habits and problems! What you believe about Jesus in you shapes your life. Jesus STRENGTHENS you. You might say, “I only talk like that when I’m mad!” Or, “I only give in when I’m lonely.” But where is Jesus when you’re mad? Where is He when you’re lonely?
Many people are like the umbrella that only leaks when it rains! If you believe wrong, you’ll receive wrong. If you believe you’re no good and have no potential, that’s the way it will be for you. Who told you that you’ve reached your maximum? Who told you that you can’t do any better? It wasn’t God! If you think you can’t do better, those storms will beat you down.
In Jesus’ short story, one person believed the Word and acted on it. The other listened and did what he wanted. The Word didn’t change him; he didn’t let it renew his mind. When you give your life to the Lord and get your mind renewed, you’ll think better, speak better, live better and most of all you’ll start receiving better!
The man who built his house on the sand didn’t change how he did things. He stayed carnal. His foundation didn’t hold and that caused his house fall. If you don’t do what Jesus says, you’re leaving yourself open to fail when storms in life come. Satan wants you to fail in every area of life. God has given us promises that many people will never get a hold of. When you start feeding your spirit the pure unmixed Word of God, you’ll learn that you’re not just barely holding on; you’re not going to go under and your life isn’t controlled by your circumstances. You stop accepting your present circumstances because you are too busy accepting Jesus!
Having a renewed mind will determine what comes to you and how you’ll deal with it. Jesus is your Lord, and you are more than a conqueror. You’re hid in Christ, the door is closed, you’re warm, and the storm doesn’t get to you. This is a word to someone – satan has been lying to you, and telling you that you’re going to fail. He’s trying to get you to evacuate the spiritual house that you have been building because it’ll fall. What you have built in the Lord is safe, it is secure and it will not fall! Keep your feet firmly planted on the Word of God and you will be safe and secure. The devil is a liar and he wants to steal your riches, he wants to take the spiritual treasures that are in your house. God has blessed you and the devil wants to rob you of your blessings. You have built on the ROCK and you and your possessions are safe in God! The storm doesn’t determine what happens – your foundation does.