Last week, in Only in Jesus, Part 10, we learned about the false prophets that are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit. They brought to light what Matt 7:21-23 truly means. Today we are going to explore the text right after Matt 7:21-23.
Lord, open our eyes so we can truly see.
“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.” (Matt 7:24 NIV)
Which words is Jesus referring to specifically? Aren’t these the very words he just uttered right before this illustration? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21 NIV)?
What about those who do “the will of my Father who is in heaven”? They built their “house on the rock”. In other words they apply King David’s words in their lives: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” (Ps 18:2 NIV), and not “I will rely on myself when facing trouble.” They are the ones who take refuge on the rock called Christ at all times, not just whenever it suits them, and there they find a fortress that is unshakeable even amidst the most threatening circumstances!
“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (Utter adversity!); yet it did not fall (Why?), because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matt 7:25 NIV)
Our God will always come through to those who rely solely on Him! Disease or lack of finances or friendships are not barriers to the One who is the Almighty! This is what we will find out once we dwell in the shelter of the Most High!
But so many go to church, but they still hold on to the control of their own lives, ignoring the loving admonitions from our Lord Himself: “But everyone who hears these words of mine (the very ones in Matt 7:21-23) and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Matt 7:26 NIV)
They think they are safe. After all, didn’t they “prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles” (Mat 7:22 NIV)?
The results are horribly shocking: “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt 7:27 NIV)
No crash can be bigger than this one: “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt 7:23 NIV)
May we wake up from our slumber, from the worldly securities that lull us to sleep! Life is much more than pleasure and work! We cannot serve Mammon and the Lord at the same time. We can’t stay on the fence. We have a choice to make. Only one can be our Master!
But then, those who never take the opportunity to getting to know the Lord will never discover what made King David victorious: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Ps 62:1-2 NIV)
I grew up around sand, and one thing I learned is that it moves constantly. The sea and the wind take it on a continual spin! You can experiment this yourself. Go for a walk on the sand. Somehow myriad of sand grains will find a way to infiltrate your socks!
Belgians living in the past along the coast discovered quickly that sand truly cannot be trusted. The heavy storms, similar to Hurricane Katrina, devastated the seacoast of this lovely country, bringing seawater as far as 40 kms inland and thus changing the landscape drastically. Many people lost both homes and livelihoods due to the flooding. The sand could not resist adversity of this strength, and it caved in.
Some people simply gave up. “That’s life!” they reasoned. However some would not let themselves be defeated by the elements. Undeterred they went back to the devastated coast and began building dikes to protect their land. Though some of their neighbours thought they to be completely insane, they persisted. And in the end, their persistence paid off!
Even nowadays the Flemish talk about walking on the dikes. The wide promenades above the sand in all Belgian coastal cities are literally dikes protecting the coastal inhabitants from any potential damages from the North Sea. Interestingly, these dikes are built from stone.
If sand could not withstand the storm, stones could, especially if it is the Rock from above.
Who will you choose as your Master? One is drifting sand; the other is a secure fortress. As for me and my household we have decided to stand on the Rock. I offer you my hand to help you reach that rock as well. There is still room on it for you, my friend.
(To access the entire “Only in Jesus” devotional series, please click here.)