Friday, October 14, 2011

Building Our Lives Upon The Rock

"Whether we are aware of it or not we each have adopted a perspective of life that guides us. We have chosen to base our life on something.  Some have chosen money, some fame, some comfort, some happiness, some worldly success, some romance, some security, some job,  and some reputation.

All of us have built our life upon something.   In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus Christ speaks directly to this issue and makes the choice remarkably clear.

24 “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. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  

Once again Jesus was using an object lesson to communicate His point.  Only a life built upon Jesus Christ will stand up to the struggles of this life. He is our Rock of Ages and the Way, the Truth and the Life that we all need. The truths and the person of Christ are our only source of true security in this world. While there are other things that are important in this life, nothing is worthy to build a life upon. Anything else in this world can be taken from us by death, accident, economic crisis, or other means, but Christ alone is with us forever. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8,

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” c 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, d neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Who better to build our life upon than Jesus Christ, the one who brought our world into being. He alone has the character that can be trusted. He has the knowledge of who we are, how this life works, what the future holds, and the power to work in our lives to transform us into the people we were created to be.

When we try to build our life on anything else it may seem logical and even work for a while, but when the storms of life come the truth is made clear. Our misplaced trust is then exposed for what it truly is and we are left with only heart break and a sense of hopelessness. 

Scripture never promises that a life with Christ will be storm free. It tells us the opposite. Rain will fall on the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45), and at times even more suffering will come on those who stand for Christ. But in 2 Cor. 4:8-9 those who have chosen to build their lives on the rock of Christ are encouraged by these words. “8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

During the good weather all foundations seem good enough. When we are building, the rock foundation seems like a waste of time, energy, and money. It is only in the midst of the storm that the true worth and importance of a foundation is revealed. For some we have found our own strategies of how to get what we want. We have depended on money, personality, romance, manipulation, gossip, or even good sounding strategies like hard work, intelligence, organization, planning, etc. But here Christ claims that if we have built our lives on anything but Him and His truths then our life will in the future be washed away either in the present life, or at death.

Some appear to have built on the foundation of Christ due to their outward works of “righteousness”, but their true foundation of sand will become evident when struggles come. (Ezekiel 13:14) 

I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it  falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD.”

It is possible that a loving God will even allow hardships to come into our lives to reveal what our foundations are truly made of. He knows that the only way to true life is when He is our true foundation. With this in mind He will allow our pain so we will realize our life is built on sand. Examples: a broken relationship, economic ruin, severe aloneness, hopeless futures, shattered dreams, unexpected death.

We will cry out to God as if He does not love us, but our pain may be one of the greatest gifts of love He has ever given us. Then we will be ready and willing to turn to Him to be our foundation. As C.S. Lewis wrote, ”God whispers in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.” Through the difficulties our need will be made clear and He will draw us to Himself. (John 6:44)

What is your life built upon? What are you relying on to make your life work for you?  What is your reason for living and your greatest source of joy? If your answers are anything else than Jesus Christ then you are living in a very vulnerable state.

Take some time. Trust that He will begin to draw you towards Himself. Submit your life and your will to Jesus Christ. Let Him begin the transformation in you. You no longer will need to fear the storms of life. Build your life on the Rock for He alone is worthy of being the foundation and source of our lives.

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