One of the jobs I’ve had was in a think tank for a large company. They would fly several of us in, present a problem the company was facing and we would go to work to solve. It usually took a week to figure out the cause and how it presented itself. We would then spend the next couple of months creating the solution. We could talk about the solution for days, but until we put it into practice, we didn’t know if it would work. So we flew to where the problem was the worst and implemented the solution. We then watched the results, gathered feedback, refined the solution and retested it over and over until we got the results we were looking for.
In Matthew 7:24 Jesus said, “So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, will be like a wise man [a far-sighted, practical, and sensible man] who built his house on the rock” (AMP). He said that when the storms of life came and beat against this house, it stood firm because their faith had been tested, refined and proven. Then He contrasted it with a person who just heard His words, but didn’t live them or act on them. When the storms came in that person’s life, their faith crumbled because it was only an idea they were holding onto. This person lacked a strong foundation built on faith that had been lived out.
James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” Faith is just a concept you talk about until you put it into practice in your life. It’s what you live out Monday through Saturday when you’re in the world. It’s walking and trusting God when you can’t see the next step, but moving forward anyway. It’s trusting His promises when others say there is no hope. God never intended for Faith to be something we identify with. He intended it to be something we lived, grew and built our lives on. That’s a foundation that can withstand even the strongest storms. I know because I’ve proven it in my life over and over.
When hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi, the company I worked for sent me in as a first responder to get communications back up. We couldn’t get into New Orleans that morning, so we established a command post in Baton Rouge. Myself and three others made our way to Pensacola, Florida with the goal of getting inventory and cash from all the stores along the coast. When we stopped in Biloxi, Mississippi, we only found a foundation where the store once stood. Everything was gone. Several miles away, the store in Gulfport was still there. As we were loading inventory in the vans, there was a knock on the plywood that covered the front of the store. A line of people gathered who had lost just about everything. They wanted to call family to check on them and let them know they survived. We handed them our phones while we worked. I saw gratefulness like I had never seen and was touched to be able to help.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told the story of a similar storm. The rains and wind came with a hurricane force. One person had built his house on a firm foundation, and when the storm came, it was able to withstand the storm. Another person didn’t use a foundation of rock. They had just built their house on the ground. He said that when the storm came there was a great crash as that house fell down and was washed away. Both people He talked about had heard the Word of God. The difference was that one applied it to their life. That person received a firm foundation on which to build their life. Jesus was illustrating that it’s not enough to go to church and hear a sermon each week. It’s not enough to read the Bible. We must apply what we learn and what we read or we won’t be able to withstand the storm of His judgment or from this life.
Proverbs 10:25 says, “The wicked are blown away by every stormy wind. But when a catastrophe comes, the lovers of God have a secure anchor” (TPT). Notice how it doesn’t say, “if a catastrophe comes.” We’re all going to face catastrophe and storms in this life. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). How we’re able to respond and survive depends on what we are anchored to and what kind of foundation we have. When my life was hit with catastrophe, I remember seeing a visual of myself laying on a foundation with boards and debris all around it. In that moment, I remember God reminding me that though everything else had to be rebuilt, I was on a solid foundation. What is your life built on? When catastrophe strikes, what is your anchor attached to? Anything less than the Word of God will not be enough. It’s not too late to change the foundation your life is built on. Study the Bible and live by it. His Word is enough to withstand any storm.