On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand
“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.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:24-29)
We are convinced that the greatest deception in the Church today is confusing hearing the Word of God with doing the Word of God. We have listened to countless sermons and done many Bible studies without acting upon them, and the result has been disastrous. Rather than growing more loving and open to the things of the Spirit as we progress in the faith, we find coldness, rigidness, and a lack of love. The author of Hebrews warns of the hardness of hearts that can occur when we hear His voice and fail to act upon it.
It is this danger that Jesus addresses as He concludes the great “Sermon on the Mount.” He contrasts the wise and the foolish builder. The wise builder who builds his house on a solid foundation of rock is likened to the one who is a doer of the Word. The foolish builder who builds on the sand is the one who hears the Word, but does not act on it. His house will collapse in a storm.
No one would choose to build in a way that would invite destruction. Yet failing to act on the Word of God does exactly that in our lives according to Jesus. Statistics show us that on average, people remember 20% of what we hear, but 90% of what we do—especially if it is applied to a real life situation as soon as we learn something! Believers should always be looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus as Scripture reveals His truth to us. As Christ-followers, we need to move from horizontal hearing to engaging God in vertical obedience.
Listen: Spend a few quiet moments seeking God. Be attentive to whatever He may speak to your heart.
Reflect: How is the Spirit leading you to respond to what you have heard from God?
Confess and Repent: If there is something the Spirit convicts you of, take time to prayerfully confess it. Resolve to turn from it if it is sin, or step toward whatever He is leading you into that you have either neglected or not seen before.
Ask: Help me, Lord, to be a doer of Your Word. I’m so grateful that You communicate to Your people through Your Word and Your Spirit. Help me to go beyond the first step of hearing to the important step of obedience. Give me the wisdom to build on the rock of Your Word!
- Is there a passage of Scripture that the Holy Spirit is prompting you to obey right now? What is keeping you from obeying? Take steps to break down the barriers that are holding you back from a vertical encounter with God.
- Have you ever built a sand castle with a child? They are so disappointed when the waves finally wash it away. They spend a great deal of time trying to shore it up and protect it. I (Kim) remember building huge moats trying to keep my castles safe, but to no avail. Teach the truth of God’s Word to a child today, by sharing verbally or by acting like Jesus. Perhaps it will be a neighbor child if not your own. If you have limited time, simply tell a child that Jesus loves him or her, and perhaps you will have planted a seed that will result in a house that stands upon a rock.
- Whatever you learn from God’s Word today, ask Him to help you immediately apply it in a real life situation so that it will become a part of your walk toward Christ-likeness and so that God will be glorified in and through His activity lived out in you.
Taken from Vertical with Jesus by David and Kim Butts. © 2022 PrayerShop Publishing.