The house across the street is undergoing a radical transformation. Several weeks ago I wrote about the crew and the sledgehammers that showed up very early that one Monday morning and got to work gutting this dilapidated mess. Over the weeks, a metamorphosis has happened! Grass, paint, fence, pool, garage doors . . . stunning to watch. The other day, I went over with my contractor neighbor, wandered around the back yard and peeked in the windows. To my untrained eye, everything was beautiful.
However, to his contractor eye there were places where he knew corners had been cut to save time and money. He said a couple of times, “They are just going to have to replace this next year.” What a shame. Someone was making decisions that involved the integrity and quality of this house that would soon be someone’s home. Their effort to meet a budget and/or a deadline was going to cost the next owner’s plenty of heartache.
In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches about two houses, two foundations, two builders and one storm. The houses are the same and the storms are the same. But the builders and the foundations are different.
The one builder was a foolish builder. Why? Because to meet a budget and/or a deadline, he built his house on sand. Sand. A house built on sand. One does not need to be a contractor to know this story won’t end well.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and . . . it fell.” (7:27)
Well, no surprise there. Sand is good for some things in the construction industry, namely, making concrete. By itself, though, sand is an unreliable foundation for a home. It shifts, it erodes, it blows away. It’s a wonder this house withstood the sandy foundation before the storms came.
Jesus calls the other builder the wise builder because he built his house on the rock.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but . . . it did not fall.” (7:25)
Exact same description of the storm — rain fell, floods came, winds blew and beat. The wise ones are not exempt from the storms of life just because they are wise. The storms will come with exactly the same ferocity and destructive capabilities to all — the foolish and the wise. No one has control over the storms. No one can escape Mother Nature and her fury. They come when they come to whomever is in their path.
One storm. Two houses. Same disasters.
But the difference is in the builders and the foundations.
Both builders hear Jesus’ words, but it’s the wise one who also does what he hears. The foolish man, verse 26 says, hears Jesus’ words but does not do them.
Doing what we hear is laying rock for our foundation. The storms will come and they will be destructive, but we will not fall. Hearing and not doing is like laying a foundation of sand – unreliable, shifting sand. We will fall.
So, as you hear the word of God — at church, bible study, small group, retreat, conversation with a friend — ask yourself, “Am I doing what I am hearing? Am I putting into practice these words of the Word? Can I point to the last time I did what I heard?”
(And just to be clear, we “do” the Word of God, not for His favor, but from His favor. We are not earning our salvation by being “doers” of the Word; we are responding to God’s great gift of love and salvation for us by obeying and doing His Word.)
Three verses earlier, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (7:21) Yikes.
At the end of time, the ones entering the kingdom of heaven are those who are doing the will of God. Doing His will. Not just hearing it or studying it or downloading it or buying an app for it. Doing it.
Those are the wise ones. Those are the lives that are built on the rock. Those are the ones who will enter the kingdom of heaven.
Wisdom = Hearing and Doing = Building your life on the Rock.
Debbie Williamson was born and raised in Southern California, got my bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and married a man who wanted to be a pastor. He finished his master’s degree, and we moved to Illinois. After nine years in Oak Park, IL, we moved to Yakima, WA. Four years later, we were back in Southern California.
We have been married for thirty years and have 3 daughters and 2 incredible sons-in-law. Two dogs fill up our empty nest. We live in Temecula, CA and do life with people at Faith Community Church.
I write, teach bible studies, speak at retreats and women’s events, and mentor young women. I’m also a middle school substitute teacher.In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening, watching sports, walking, meeting with friends over coffee, and working on the newest Pinterest project.