When we were in school, we had frequent exams. In High School, we had to pass a driver’s test and prepare for the Scholastic Assessment Test. Perhaps you’ve taken a strengths test or aptitude test. Let’s not forget the pregnancy test that brings happy news to a childless couple.
Some tests are easy, and others are hard. Tests can bring sadness or joy, but the toughest tests are often spiritual. They bring tension and challenge the integrity of our spiritual foundation.
A Wise Builder
Have you ever driven by a new housing development? You might see homes at different stages of construction.
Occasionally, you’ll notice a lot ready for a concrete slab. The ground is compacted, deep trenches surround the foundation for load-bearing walls, a layer of gravel covers the soil, and rebar creates a metal grid that will ensure the integrity of the slab. Lots of hard work for a pad of concrete, but this is the foundation needed for a stable home.
Similarly, Matthew 7:24-29 highlights the importance of a solid spiritual foundation. Jesus illustrated the importance with a story.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
Jesus reminds us that obedience is a sign of wisdom, and this protects the integrity of our spiritual foundation and the quality of the life we build in Christ.
Choosing Between Rock and Sand
The Gospel of Matthew contains five of Jesus’ sermons. Matthew 7:24-29 is the conclusion of his first discourse known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught about our heart’s posture for blessings (The Beatitudes), discipleship, personal relationships, social needs, prayer, fasting, money, faith, the Kingdom of Heaven, and more.
The Sermon on the Mount ends with the story of the wise and unwise builder—a story about choice. Present culture would consider this a “call to action.” Will you build your life on a solid foundation (Jesus Christ) or unstable sand?
Jesus is Our Solid Rock
Jesus is the bedrock of our faith, and he is our example of obedience—obedience that led him to the cross because He loved humanity. Jesus was, is, and will forever be indicative of love.
Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that we can (and should) have the same attitude as Christ.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
An obedience life will ensure the integrity of our foundation because love (Jesus) motivates us. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 lists the qualities of love. When we choose Christ in our daily decisions, we’re building a strong foundation, and we’ll witness the power of a transformed life.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Hope When There’s a Crack in Our Foundation
We consistently test quality. As consumers, we judge the quality of equipment, customer service, household merchandise, and even a meal at a restaurant. The quality of our character and faith is tested, as well.
In the midst of our fears and struggles, we can find hope and comfort in Christ. http://ctt.ec/eF517+ @MarisaShadrick
If our foundation isn’t as solid as we would hope, there’s good news. In the midst of our fears and struggles, we can find hope and comfort. According to Romans 5:3-5, life’s test can serve us in a positive way.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
If you find yourself tested by life’s events, Christ is your solid foundation. The testing of our faith may expose a need, but God is ready to meet the need. The Holy Spirit will help us develop our faith—an unwavering faith. Unexpected events can spiritually shake us, but our foundation in Jesus will help us stand during life’s tests.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.