Standing Strong in the Wind and Waves: The Wise and Foolish Builders
We are going continue our short series on the Sermon on the Mount and more specifically, the story of the Wise and Foolish Builders in Matthew 7. In this passage, Jesus says that for a house to remain unmoved in wind and rain it needs a strong foundation, like a rock. But if a house has a shifting and unstable foundation like sand, then when wind and rain come the house will be swept away because there was nothing permanent or stable to support the house.
But how does this apply to us?
The house is like our lives and the foundation is what we build our lives on. The wind and rain could be anything from bullying, financial issues, relationship breakdowns, or anything else that will damage or move the house if it does not have stable support.
So what does our foundation look like? For some of us we may build our lives on popularity, our looks, a sport we may be good at, or how good our grades are. But these are all weak foundations that are not permanent or sustainable. When the wind and rain come, what will happen to our house if it is only built on a temporary foundation? What happens when a new person becomes more popular than us? Or if people find someone else more attractive? Or if a new sport becomes popular and we aren’t good at it? Or if our grades start to slip and someone else gets ahead? If we build our lives on these things and wind and rain comes, then what will happen to our house? It will crumble.
But if we build our lives on something solid, on something that will never move or change, then our house will stay up. There is only one foundation that can support us through anything. The only way to build this strong foundation for our lives is to obey God’s words and make him the centre of our life. In verse 24 Jesus says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
It is not enough to hear the word of God and understand it, we also must put it into practice in our lives. It’s like if you know your house needs a strong foundation but not acting on this knowledge. Knowing that you need to have a strong foundation won’t help your house stay up in rain and winds. In the passage Jesus says “But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. He builds his house on sand. The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. And it falls with a loud crash.”
For us to have a sustainable and strong foundation in our lives we have to actually build the foundation in order for your house to stay up. If we do this through our faith in Jesus and put his word into practise in our lives, then he will create a strong foundation that will last forever.
But how can we put we put his words into practise in our lives? Well if we wanted to, we could easily put this into three easy steps in which we are able to remember and do. These steps are trust, know and do.
1. The first step is acceptance of Jesus’s sacrifice for us and his control in our lives. We have to trust in his plans and accept what wants to do in our lives. It is through this acceptance and trust that we are allowing him to be the foundation that will support and protect us eternally.
2. The second step required before we can obey his words is to get to know them. This can be done by reading your Bible, attending youth group and bible studies, etc. Sometimes this might not seem very fun, and may be hard to do. But its worth it! To be able to do something successfully you must first have all the important information; this is important if you want to practise his words in your life. It is like when you first sign up for a sport, before you start to play against another team you have to know the rules and how to play. This may involve us researching the rules or most likely asking coach or team member for an explanation as to how to play. Without knowing what Jesus says, then we can’t fully do what he wants.
3. The third step is to put his words into practise, and this applies to all of us. This is where knowing his word is important. If you are going to build on a solid foundation you must actually do what Jesus wants you to do even if you don’t want to. He says this because there will be times when we don’t want to do what Jesus says because it’s too hard, or it’s not what we want. It’s in these moments that we need a strong foundation to get us through the wind and rain, because there will be days when the wind is strong and the rain is heavy.
If we want to put Jesus’s words into practise, we have to live our lives as followers of him and build our house accordingly to the foundation and the Bible. In other words, don’t just acknowledge his words but live them, and show others that you are living by them. Demonstrate his words and the Bible through the way you live Show what your foundation is by building your lives on Jesus and his words. If you do this then you will be like the wise man in the story, when bad things happen your house will not move.
It is only through this that we can find the perfect foundation for our lives, which is Jesus. He never changes and never moves, so when the wind and rain comes if we build our lives on Him and put his words into practise then our house will stay and our lives wont crumble, even if it feels like it at the time. Our lives will remain forever, through wind and rain if we have Jesus as our foundation and rock.
Written by Emily Reeve.