A stormproof life. One that stands when the rain and the winds come. One that doesn’t let the water and cold come inside. A life that’s weather proof, alright and moisture proof. No water damage inside after the storms. Isn’t that what you and everyone else you know really want?
As you probably know, Linda and I live in an extremely old house that was built in 1723. When we moved into the house, we had to really worry about the winds and rain. Why? Well, the house wasn’t stormproof, had old windows, no storm windows, no storm door. The house only had plain old uninsulated wooden doors that leaked both wind and rain around the windows. When it would rain, we would have to put towels on the window sills and at the bottoms of the doors. Otherwise, water would come and the bad weather on the outside would get to us on the inside.
That’s what you DON’T want. You don’t want the storm in your house and into your life. You’re GOING to have various storms in your life, some worse than others, but you can’t afford for the storm to get on the inside of you. In Matthew 7, 24-27, Jesus talks about storm proofing your life and He tells about two builders. Both built a place to live. One dug his footings deep while the other just started building on the surface of the ground.
Both houses seemed about the same, and were O.K. places to live. That is, until a storm came. Then, when the winds and rain beat against them, the house that was built on the surface of the ground fell down completely while the one that had the foundations dug deep, was still standing after the storm. Jesus said that these two builders were two ways you can build your life. Either way, you will still have storms, but the difference is what effect the storms have on the life that you’re building.
See, EVERYONE has storms. You might look at other people and think they have it easier and all together, but everybody has problems, fears and storms. Even the one that seems so happy and always has a smile on his or her face! Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world, you have tribulations, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Having problems is just a predictable part of being in this world.
Jesus didn’t criticize the way the men built, or the materials that either of them used. The storm came to both. Storms are normal and they don’t mean God’s mad at you. The difference is, whether you can stand in the storm. Jesus said that the person who’ll hear what He says, will DO what He says, is the persons whose life will stand. The one who won’t listen to what he says is the whose building his or her life on the stand.
“Hears My Words and DOES them…” He’s saying it’s more than just believing in Jesus. More than just accepting Christ, it’s becoming a “Doer of the Word” like it says in James 1:22, “Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It’s self-deception to just hear the Word, but not to do it. You want to pay attention to get into God’s word, learn it, let His wisdom sink in and then build your life on it.
What a waste it is to think that because you’re young, you don’t have to pay attention in life. To be thoughtless, when the shape your whole life depends on the how you use the opportunity of a moment or to be careless, when all the happiness of your marriage, family and home for ever depends on your emotions, (or the passions) of a single hour. It’s foolish to think that just because you’re young that your actions aren’t the foundation stones of your future. That’s what Jesus is saying: you’re building your foundation NOW. You can’t scrimp and take shortcuts now. If you ever ARE going to take shortcuts, do it in your later years rather than now. Actually, the only place you can afford to be thoughtless is on your death bed. You don’t want to leave any thinking to be done there.
Jesus says that if you follow His words, when the storms come, they won’t knock you down and they won’t get inside. What gets inside you is totally important. Proverbs 4:23 says “guard your heart”, because out of it comes issues of your life. At our homes, when the storm came at that time, my wife and daughters shut the windows, while my son and I would shut the car windows. We don’t want the storms on the outside to come on the inside. It’s a choice we have to make.
Jesus says, to make the choice to build on His Word. In 1 Corinthians 3:11, God says that Jesus is the foundation and “let every man take heed, or pay attention to how he builds theron.” How you build is your choice. See, no one can make you DO or SAY anything. You choose what you say and you choose how you build. Society doesn’t choose it for you.
If you don’t build, others will try to build on your foundation. What I mean is, if you don’t take the initiative, you’ll end up just RESPONDING to other peoples’ demands, wants and whims. You’ll find yourself responding to your circumstances and your problems, rather than building your foundation in God. In other words, your problems, your storms and your fears will direct the course of your life instead of Jesus.
You have to do what YOU are supposed to do and let others respond the way they want. You plant the seed and let the crops come up. You need to build on the rock instead of reacting to other people’s opinions. If you leave the doors and windows open in your life, and let the storm in, you’ll be cleaning up storm damage while others are warm and dry.
Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” You need to hear the Word of God for faith to come. When you listen and ACT on what God says in your Bible, you’ll stand when the storms come. What you believe, really believe, becomes the foundation of your life. How do you know what you really believe? By noticing what you ACT on. The second builder listened to the Word just like the first one but he didn’t act on it.
Many Christians believe the word, but they ACT on their anger, fear, past failures, depressions and other things, while others sing “Jehovah Jireh, My Provider,”, but then say, “I can’t afford to pay my tithes!” It’s what you act on, acknowledge as true that shapes your life. The foolish guy’s house stood fine – in good weather. It only has a problem when the storm came. Like the person who’s sweet as pie, until someone crosses him or her. “I’m only mean and abusive when I’m mad!” Well, where’s Jesus when you’re mad? You don’t want to be like the umbrella that only leaks when it rains.
One builder believed and acted. The other one listened and did what he wanted. The Word didn’t change him. It wasn’t mixed with faith. His foundation didn’t hold and his house fell. When you don’t do what Jesus says, you’re leaving yourself wide open to fall. The wise builder: He listened and renewed his mind. He built better, lived better, ate better and was more comfortable. He took better care of himself and his family. Jesus is Lord, even of the storms, you don’t have faith in the storm’s ability to wipe you out – you have faith in the ability of Jesus to hold you up! You don’t accept the storms, you accept Jesus. He is Lord, and that makes you more than a conqueror in every situation. You’re hid in Christ, safe in God. Your house WON’T fall. You’re building it on the Rock and the storm will pass, but he who doeth the will of God abideth forever.
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