Building On a Solid Foundation
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
Matthew 7:24-29 NLT
My Thoughts: Have you ever watched a toddler suddenly decide to ignore a parents request to ‘hold my hand?’ They will walk fast and shake their entire arm by their side in an attempt to stop Mom or Dad from holding their hand. It’s one of the silliest images demonstrating that child’s effort to become independent. In many ways our verses for today remind me of that independent toddler and our relationship of growth with God.
As babies grow, the level of assistance they receive changes to encourage growth and development. God does a similar thing with us, so we can develop and mature spiritually. When we are newly born again (saved) and filled with His Spirit, for a season He manifests Himself at our every cry. But then after a while He allows us to go through times in which He does not respond instantly to our every call.
I remember when I suddenly realized that God wasn’t responding to my prayers as quickly as He did after I was saved. I began to research and look for answers in the word of God (the Bible) and I prayed frequently as I sought guidance. I was already attending church and studies so I listened closely to the messages as I earnestly sought answers. It was a great time of learning to apply what God had been teaching me. In other word, I was still clinging tightly to His hand even as I grew in my faith and walk with Jesus.
But over time I began to develop a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance (sand), rather than clinging to God as my foundation. Things were going well in my life, and as I became more confident in my faith, like that toddler, I began to intentionally let go of the hand of God. I began to believe that I didn’t need to bother Jesus with my simple problems; I only needed to be in touch, or hold His hand, when I had big problems.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that by relying on myself I had no strong foundation and I was in sinking sand…, drowning in confusion.
You see, Jesus wants us to listen to Him, learn about Him, while we hold onto Him tightly all the time! He wants us to share all of our problems with Him, big or small, so we build and develop a strong foundation. When we hold firmly onto Him, as difficulties arise, and they will, we are prepared and can stand strong in the storm.
Remember, Jesus warned us hard things will happen:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
Our spiritual maturity guides us to cling tightly to Jesus who is our strong foundation. When we rely on anything but Jesus, we are in sinking sand and we will crash because we have nothing to keep us standing during any storm.
Is your faith built on solid bedrock?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16 NIV
Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving me this visual of growth in my relationship with You! I have learned that when I stay close to You I have the strength to withstand any storm in my life. Father, I know the strength of my relationship also includes never being ashamed to admit I need You for everything in my life whether it’s in a time of blessing or hardship. Thank you for all of these reminders. Father I pray we all hold tightly to You as we walk with You and grow in our faith. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.