“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. 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.”
The passage before us records Jesus presenting the summation statement of his famous Sermon on the Mount. Jesus using a construction analogy, reveals that wisdom dictates that building a house on solid rock enables it to withstand the violence of a storm.
In this context Jesus is saying that practicing his words as a lifestyle brings great stability. A lifestyle of thinking, speaking, and practicing God’s Word gives a person a solid foundation for life.
A Call to Action
The Kingdom lifestyle is a call to action. By correctly interpreting and applying the Word of God in all areas of life, the Church demonstrates God’s original purpose for society. Building on the solid ground of biblical principles, enables society to withstand the storms of life and avoid disaster.
Jesus is restating the eternal Kingdom principle of hearing and doing what God requires of all humanity. These two are inseparable for successful living. James is referring to this very truth when he writes; “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:22-25)
Building in Matthew 7 and doing in James 1, is another way of describing a lifestyle. The point is; anyone living a lifestyle based on hearing and doing what Jesus is saying will be living on solid ground.
Wisdom for Life
Although Jesus was addressing those still under the Law, James applies this truth to the Church, thus urging all believers to model before the world the standard of living in the light of God’s written word. In concluding his Sermon on the mount, Jesus said “everyone” who hears His words (everything he taught) and continues to live by them (putting them into practice), is like a wise builder who builds his or her house on the rock (solid foundation).
The word “wise” in verse 24 means (prudent, sensible, shrewd). Each aspect of this word carries the idea of one who’s thinking is sound. Building our life on God’s word is the only wise and sensible way to live because, it’s how God intended humanity to live.
Notice in Matthew 7:24-27 that the storms strike both the wise and foolish builders. Though none of us are exempt from the storms of life, we can do what’s necessary to prepare us for them; This is what homeowner’s insurance is for.
Practicing God’s word is our insurance against the storms. At first glance a perfectly level area seems like a great place to build while the sun is shining. No need to take up so much time for laying foundations here. Without some sound thinking beforehand, the storms that follow will undermine that house because of its faulty foundation and wash everything away.
Many people opt for the short cuts because it takes time and effort to lay a strong foundation, but the time and the effort are well worth it. In Luke’s gospel we have some additional wisdom to help us avoid the disastrous “easy build” mentality.
Luke writes the wise “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.” (Luke 6:48)
Building a believing lifestyle is much more than having an emotional attachment to God’s Word; it is a call to completely surrender to Christ in the confidence that all things will turn out exactly as our Heavenly Father has promised. It may be all sunshine now, but storms do eventually come to us all.
So, why not do the sensible thing, go ahead and surrender to the lordship of Christ. Follow Him by putting His word into practice. Surrender your mind to the wisdom and power God’s Word. Take the time to dig deep into the Scriptures, by thinking, speaking and living according to what is written. Be prepared for the storms of lie, Be confident, Be secure when the rains come, and Be Encouraged!