Will Your House Stand?

Earlier this month Hurricane Michael struck the panhandle of Florida with some of the strongest winds it has ever faced. When it struck land it was a Category 4. One particular image appeared last week that made me immediately think of the end of the Sermon on the Mount. An aerial view of Mexico Beach showed over ¾ of the buildings flattened, yet one was remarkably untouched. Russell King built this large home last year and named it the Sand Palace. In his own words he built it to prepare “for the big one” that might happen someday. He hammered 40 foot steel pilings deep into the ground and overall added enough hurricane proofing to double the construction costs of his house. His work paid off as the house is still there. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus said,

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

I think most Christians (and even many non-Christians) have heard these words before. The basic message is this: the foundation of a Spiritually sound life is faith in and obedience to Jesus. To act on your own initiative or to act contrary to His teaching is to set yourself up for failure. Jesus claimed to be the only true authority in Spiritual things.

            I wanted to add a few thoughts to this message though that came from the interview with the Sand Palace’s owner. He made a statement that “we were thinking we needed to build a house that could stand for generations.” His interest was not just in something quick, showy, or even like those around him. He wanted quality. And it paid off. A good Spiritual life built Jesus’ way will take a lot more time, effort, and expense than a worldly life, but that’s because it is meant to last! He also was quoted saying, “We knew we needed to build a home that WAS going to go through a natural disaster at some point.” I think many people assume that just because the storms of life haven’t hit yet that they won’t hit. Jesus guarantees that the storms will hit sometime, we need to prepare according to this reality. The article also stated that the home’s builder went far above the required minimum standards for the panhandle. He spent nearly 20% more on his house because of it. Spiritually many seem concerned with minimum standards. The words used are more like, “What do I have to do?” A believer is not concerned with bare minimum spirituality and how close they can get to disobedience. Rather the Christian seeks to please God in every way and to obey not just the letter of the law but from the heart.

            What are you building your life on? Are you listening to and obeying Jesus? Is He your spiritual authority? The storms of life will come and it will then be obvious where your heart is. Be wise and not foolish, build your house upon the rock.