As the storm of coronavirus rages around me, I am continually looking to Jesus to show me how to respond. A couple of days ago, I went to Matthew 7:24-25 (NKJV) which says, “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
I saw a new perspective in this familiar verse. Previously, I imagined that if you knew Jesus and claimed him as your Savior, you got a fully constructed house on this solid foundation. All you had to do was move in and start living the rich, protected life. But the verse says that the wise man built his house. Clearly, our Lord is the bedrock upon which our house sits and which keeps it from sliding off into the sea, but we must put up the walls, fashion the roof, decorate the rooms, and start the fire in the fireplace if it is to be a cozy place of rest.
Most of us put up a flimsy tent on the Rock of our Salvation and wonder at the wind and rain that continually buffet us. How can we trade that canvas structure for a solid, disaster-proof home? It is simple but not easy, as the old saying goes.
This verse, with a few others will show us where to get our building materials and give us the blueprint for completing that dream home.
First, Jesus says, “whoever hears these sayings of mine.” We must make it a priority to get His Words into our hearts. Reading the Bible for ourselves is the best way. This is because, as Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) says, “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and morrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intention of the heart.” When we read the Bible for ourselves, it is a heart-to-heart talk with God. He uses it to show us what we need to know. Sometimes it reveals things we need to change. Sometimes it gives direction. Sometimes it shows us things that are to come. I like to think of the Holy Spirit hanging over my shoulder when I read, eager to point out some new meaning hidden from my eyes until just the moment I need it the most. He is afraid I will miss some juicy tidbit placed there for me and He is determined that this will not happen!
Listening to Bible teachers, Christian music, books and devotionals are be good, too. The important thing is too keep the sayings of Jesus continually in front of your eyes and in your ears in whatever way you can. “So, faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the message concerning Christ. (Romans 10:17 AMP).
It’s important to note that whatever you keep in front of your eyes and in your ears will influence you. I must be especially careful of the news. How many times and ways do I need to hear about the number of new cases of COVID and the crazy political climate to know what’s going on around me? Faith for disaster comes by hearing, too! Proverbs 4:23(NLT) reminds us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Garbage in. Garbage out. Wisdom and righteousness in. Wisdom and righteousness out.
So, number one, Jesus is the Rock, the foundation. Number two, since He is the Word (John 1:1), spending time studying and learning the Bible on your own and with the help of teachers and resources, gives structure to your house. When the rain beats down on the roof and the wind causes the whole thing to shudder and sway, you are safe inside, reinforcing the walls and the shingles with God’s promises of protection and provision hidden deep inside your heart and spoken back to your troubles.
Once safe inside your sturdy home, you’ll want to decorate it with peace, joy, and most especially love. In Ephesians 3: 18-19, the Apostle Paul states, “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” I love the idea that it is by knowing how much God loves us that we have the full life and power that He has given us! As you study and hear the word of God, you will hear again and again about His love. As stated, faith comes by hearing, so the more your study focuses on His love for you, the more faith you will have to believe it. Paul also wishes for us to experience this great love. Gratitude and worship can be the best pathways to this. When we stop listening to the bad news around us and listen to the Spirit of God on the inside of us, we experience the fruit of that relationship (Galatians 5:22) and our House on the Rock is the beautiful place we love to be!
Jesus has done it all for us. He is the Rock. He is the Word. He has freely given His Spirit. Reach out and take those gifts for yourself and you will be able to withstand the Perfect Storm of 2020!