We all can benefit from knowing what is wise or foolish living. In today’s world the line of true wisdom is very fuzzy. There are absolutes in God’s Kingdom. These are the best foundation to build on for your life.
The “Leaning Tower of Pisa” was finally reopened to the public in 2001, after having been closed for almost a dozen years. During that time, engineers completed a 25 million dollar renovation project designed to stabilize the tower. They removed 110 tons of dirt, and reduced its famous lean by about sixteen inches. Why was this necessary? Because the tower has been tilting further and further away from vertical for hundreds of years, to the point that the top of the 185-foot tower was seventeen feet further south than the bottom, and Italian authorities were concerned that if nothing was done, it would soon collapse. What was the problem? Bad design? Poor workmanship? An inferior grade of marble? No. The problem was what was underneath. The sandy soil on which the city of Pisa was built was just not stable enough to support a monument of this size. The tower had no firm foundation.
Wise and Foolish Builders
Matthew 7:21 – 29 NKJV
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” 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; founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell, And great was its fall.” And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Notice straight away Jesus testifies to His own deity by referring to Himself as, “Lord, Lord.” This makes us awaken to Jesus and Who He is, which in turn compels us to obedience. It is not enough to call Jesus Lord, we must do the will of His Father in heaven.
Even if you can prophesy or call yourself a prophet, even if you cast out demons in His name and done signs and wonders, if we do not obey, we are foolish and He will say He doesn’t know us. Not obeying God is practicing lawlessness. My goodness what an in-your-face statement!
Prophesy: From G4396; to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office: – prophesy.
Jesus knows His own and we know Him, “therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man…” He builds his house, his whole life, on the rocks of true discipleship, or genuine subjection to Christ. The disobedient build differently.
- The Rock Foundation
God is the Rock on which we build our lives upon. He is the only solid foundation.
Deut. 32:4 NKJV
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
Psalm 18:2 NKJV
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 61:1 – 2 NKJV
Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Christ teaches the importance of doing as well as hearing. In His description of the two builders, He made it clear that they were judged, not by the care which they took in building their houses, but by the foundation on which they stood. In an amazing way, He illustrated the importance of foundation in building your life. Our foundation has to be carefully selected.
A life of Christ resting on, and rooted in, all that the Lord is in Himself. It is only in personal union with Christ the Rock that we can find this firm foundation, even our best purposes are shifting sand.
I am not normally a hymn person but there is a hymn that reads:
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
There is no other solid foundation except for Jesus, and as we can see in this parable, there will be wind, rain, and floods that will come.
2. The Sand Foundation
What does a sandy foundation represent? It represents worldly wisdom, a loose foundation, an empty life of what this world has to offer… sinking sand. Sand could be friends, or careers, or drugs, or anything that is not rooted in Christ. Anything that will greatly fall compared to Christ.
What a distinction the Lord shows us. How damaging are those who do not rest upon God’s help when we seek Him in prayer, whose joys do not rest in God’s heart trusted, whose confidence rests not on God’s presence revealed, whose virtues have no root, goodness no motive, and hope no ground. A house like this merely hangs together and may fall at any moment. A house of cards that with one wind burst all come tumbling down.
3. The Builders.
In this parable there are wise and foolish builders. From His vivid picture we take it that both houses looked attractive and substantial, but the comparative stability of both is to be seen. From outward appearances both houses looked erect and strong but underneath there was a drastic difference.
What is life but a building up of character, habits, memories, expectations, of weaknesses and strengths; like stone on stone we add one thing to another in building the house of life. Our desire is that what we build should be secure.
Good people, who are not the Lord’s, appear to build well, and feel that their house is well and wisely built on money, friends, health, successful business adventures — all of which are commendable to themselves, but disastrous without a “rock” foundation.
There are others who build their house on a different foundation: daily living their life for God and obeying His Word. By increasing their knowledge and heart for God, and by living a life of praise and trust in their creator.
4. The Testing Elements.
All of us will be tested in our life to see if we are living on a firm foundation or not. Jesus compares the testing times to be terrific in strain, the threatening rain storm to beat on the roof of the house. How the whistling, howling rains, when they come, create fear. The floods will come and they have the potential to do much damage to our walls. The winds will blow like a hurricane that will threaten the sides of our house.
I love how Jesus used natural forces to remind us that summer suns are not always shinning. Whether we are “wise” or “foolish,” storms will come to everyone. These storms may look like affliction, disappointments, losses, temptations, fears, thoughts of dying, devastation, lack of finances, emotional storms, persecution, suffering, and so much more.
Jesus said, “…And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:27 NKJV) Jesus is warning the listener of a similar fate.
What will you do when you are tested in your life? What will you do when storms come and the rain, floods, and winds come and blow hard in your life? Will you be shattered and destroyed or will you stand firm on a solid foundation?
The foundation is what holds everything up, it’s what holds everything together. No matter what quality of materials you use; no matter how carefully you join the frame together; no matter how skilled your craftsmen may be – if the foundation isn’t solid and stable, your “house” will lack integrity.
Over time, cracks will develop in the walls. The windows will stick. The roof will leak. And sooner or later, the storms of life will bring it crashing down, and everything you’ve worked so hard to build will be lost.
Today start building your foundation on Christ, the true foundation. All other ground is sinking sand.
From one wise builder to another,
Pastor Kris Belfils