| By Pete Burak

Is the foundation of your life built on rock or sand?

Parable of the two foundations

I was completely overwhelmed when our real estate agent called to inform us that our offer on the new home had been accepted! The responsibility, financial commitment, impending move and amount of paperwork significantly threatened my interior disposition. Thankfully, as we packed, moved in, dealt with a flooded basement the first day (true story), painted walls, replaced cabinets and ultimately settled into a wonderful, if not adventurous, experience in this home, we experienced the peace that comes from obeying God’s plan and knowing that for all its faults (two more basement floods), our house has a good and firm foundation.

How does a firm foundation apply to our faith lives? Let’s ask two simple questions with eternal and immediate ramifications: What is God saying to you and what are you doing about it?  Remember that obedience is one of the primary dispositions of a disciple. God asks us to obey not because he’s on a power trip, but because he knows adherence to his plan is the safest, surest and most peaceful route to fulfillment here on earth and entering into the eternal reward.

Listening to and following God’s word feels easier when times are good, but it’s in the difficult times when this habit is even more necessary. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus illustrates this with the dramatic parable about two houses: one built on rock, and one built on sand. Both houses are rocked by winds and rains and only one of them survives the ordeal.

The house formed on the foundation of hearing God’s word and obeying it remains firm, steady and intact even as the elements destroy the house erected on the unsettled and shifted base of ignoring and disobeying God.

Each of us will experience storms in our lives; they are inevitable. These storms may be intense, painful and might rip a few shutters off the house, but Jesus promises his disciples the power to withstand anything if we remain rooted in him. Intimacy with Christ, faith in his commands and fidelity to his plan safeguard the foundations of our lives and help us avoid the mental, physical and spiritual collapse that often accompanies significant hardship. Additionally, if our house is still standing, it can serve as a beacon of hope for those whose foundations have shifted or may need to be rebuilt.

Christian behavior should be distinctive during difficult times because houses built on rock look and act different from those built on sand. To keep the foundations of your life strong and steady, take time each day to read the Bible.

Now I’m off to look at that pesky garage door that just won’t close all the way.

Pete Burak is the director of i.d.9:16, the young adult outreach of Renewal Ministries. He has a master’s degree in theology and is a frequent speaker on evangelization and discipleship.

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