Summary: In a life filled with trials and storms, we must be certain we build upon the Rock. How can we be sure of our foundation?
“Build Upon the Rock”
As you may know, hurricane season is fast approaching, in fact it officially begins for us on June 1st. And I’m sure that because of names like Hazel, Fran, and Floyd, none of us here need be reminded that hurricanes are one of nature’s most destructive and deadly forces. Some of these storms have the ability to level entire cities, leaving only a wide path of devastation in its wake. In the not so distant past, we had little or no warning when hurricanes or other violent storms loomed on the horizon. But fortunately, over the years we have developed some technologically advanced computer systems and radars to help us forecast and track all types of severe weather. With this technology, we now have the ability not only to tell when a storm is headed our way, but we can also determine how fast it is approaching, its strength, and the direction the storm will likely take after it passes through. These advances in meteorology have no doubt saved countless lives simply because we are now given atleast some warning when dangerous weather threatens our area. And this warning allows us vital time to “batten down the hatches” as it were and prepare for its coming.
With some types of storms, such as hurricanes, we typically are warned days or even weeks in advance of their actual arrival. But with weather phenomena such as tornados, and severe lightning storms, our warning time is shaved from days to minutes. Channel seven has a saying that is part of a contest the station promotes. The saying is “live dopplar 7 : It gives you six minutes that could save your life.” When we’re faced with a potentially deadly storm, six minutes is not very long, but it is infinitely better than no time at all.
Strong winds, lightning, floods, hail, not to mention snow and ice are all elements of the weather that could very easily devastate a large number of people and inflict severe structural damage in a very short period of time. But even though we’ve all seen first-hand their destructive nature in the past, we don’t generally think about the power or potential danger of these elements until they are bearing down upon us. And then, because we are not adequately prepared, we are left totally at the mercy of the storm.
But, then again, anyone who has ever been inside their home and watched as their roof was ripped completely off can quickly tell you that sometimes there is no such thing as being prepared enough. Sometimes there is simply nowhere we can go and nothing we can do. As a last resort, we are forced to retreat to the inner-most room in our house and hope upon hope that it is very well built.
But this morning, we are not going to talk about how to hurricane-proof our houses. No, our focus today will rest on how we can hurricane-proof our lives. Together we are going to see what the bible has to say about being prepared to face those spiritual storms that we have all encountered in times past and no doubt will continue to encounter as we make our pilgrimage towards the promised land. The first scripture that I want us to look at this morning is found in Matthew 7:21-27
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
24 “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. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Notice how Jesus uses “therefore” to link verses 21-23 to verses 24-27. The importance of a firm spiritual foundation could not have been made more evident nor could it have expressed any more vividly the connection of the written word and the Living Word. A relationship based solely on “feeling” and assumption being virtually void of a deep and intimate study of the Word will surely crumble and fall because it is merely a shell without a foundation or a sturdy frame.