For the past eighteen years Robin and I have resided at the same residence, we built our dream home on what we thought was the perfect lot, little did we know, the lot was home to an old creek bed filled with silt like clay. It’s was deemed unbuildable unless we dug out the clay and brought in good soil to assure a solid foundation.
Hear Jesus’ words: Matthew 7:24-27
"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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Now for a moment imagine you applied to and got accepted at the greatest company in the world, and you report to the CEO. He's not just a brilliant leader and a creative wizard; he's deeply invested in your personal development, and he says to you, "I want you to work on this project. I want you to develop this competence. I want you to build this team. I want you to care for this client so you can become a great contributor."
You say, "No. I don't intend to do what you tell me to do. I want to be on staff, I want to get a paycheck, I want to have an office, I want to receive benefits, but I want to do what I want to do." How long would you last there? Imagine you get selected to be a part of the greatest team in the history of athletic competition. The coach is not just a strategic genius and an inspirational figure; he is deeply committed to your excelling. He says, "I want you to do these drills, watch these tapes, study this playbook, practice these exercises, serve this team, " and you say, "No, no, no. I want to be on the roster, I want to wear a championship ring, I want to have the uniform, I want to get endorsements, I want the banner to belong to me, but I don't intend to do what you tell me to do." How long would you last on the team?
Now imagine standing before Jesus one day and trying to explain to him why you did not ever even fully intend to do all he said to do. Maybe you have a good reason for that, and his fairness, understanding, and compassion (that is who Jesus is) is such that of course we can rely on that as part of ultimate reality. But people far wiser than me in his way will tell you selective obedience will simply not usher you into a life of full confidence in this man. Selective obedience just won't.
In Jesus’ story, everybody builds a house. That's not a variable. You could replace the word house with the word life. We might put it like this: Everybody is forming a character. Everybody is constructing a soul, badly or beautifully, on purpose or by accident, with God's help or on your own. Everybody builds a house. Everybody builds a life.
We do this mostly by the choices we make, most of which we just don't think about. "How will I spend my time? What words will I speak? What are the thoughts that will occupy my mind, and where shall they come from? What shall I do with my money? What people shall form and shape me? What shall day after day after day after day of my life go toward building?" Very often, we deal with this by trying to put decisions off. "Should I work on my marriage that I know at some level is in trouble? Shall I deal with this habit I know is a deep flaw? Should I care for my body? Should I address this drinking problem that at some level I know is serious?" Then Not to decide becomes its own decision with its own consequences. It's just that way.
Everybody builds a house, and you cannot avoid this. I cannot slough this off on my parents or my peers or my boss or my family. It's built mostly on not what has happened to me, which is what I often focus on, but those tiny little decisions I'm making or not making all the time. Everybody builds a house, and everybody faces a storm. Somehow, they surprise us. We think we're so smart or strong. The strength of the storm will reveal the foundation of the house.
So, rock or sand? Follow or not follow? The choice is ours.
The word became flesh, … So, let’s get some skin in the game