Weathering The Storm
We have all seen the devastation that can come from a storm. We have watched as buildings are destroyed by the winds and waves. Maybe you have lived through a tornado or a hurricane. There is one thing that we know and that is no matter where you live, you are not immune to storms. It is a fact that storms will come whether they be of different types and strengths.
Jesus knew this when He told his disciples a story about two foundations. This story is found in Luke and Matthew’s gospels. I like Luke’s account best because of its details. Luke starts with this, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 (NASB95) As we read this story from Luke’s viewpoint, we understand that at the very base of the story lies the fact that the Lordship of Jesus is essential. A person can call Jesus Lord but if they do not do what He says, it is nothing more than words.
This whole story is based on the fact that we need to do what He says. Verse 47 says, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like.” Jesus gives us three things in order to build a life that will stand in a storm. The first is we need to come to Him. This is an action that we must do to secure our lives. Anyone who does not come to Jesus is bound to be destroyed by a storm. Coming to Jesus is the first step. I would not want to face a storm without Him. There is no place to hide. So many times, Audrey and I have faced a storm and we turn to Psalms 91 -“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Jesus said that we need to come to Him. He becomes our shelter, our hiding place and our place of refuge.
The next thing that Jesus says in verse 47 is that we need to hear His words. The language that Luke uses here paints a picture of a person who goes to a concert and listens intently to the music. This music is live music that will never again be heard like this. There is a sense of rarity in this word. It is a very special hearing or listening. As a person learns to listen, they develop an ear for what they are listening to. As we listen to the Word, we develop an ear to hear what the Spirit says.
The thing we hear is His Word. The Greek word that Luke uses is logos. This word means an organized statement or teaching. We listen intently to what God has spoken in His Word. If we are to endure the storms of life, we need to make sure that we hear His Word. This means times of personal studying with the help of the Holy Spirit. It also means listening intently to those who God has gifted to teach His Word.
The next thing that we must do is we must act on the words we hear. This means that as we believe, we act. If we do not believe what we hear, we will not act. Faith in God’s Word will produce the action of faith. The Word of God is living. When it is listened to, the natural response is action based on God’s Word. To weather a storm, we must act on the Word of God.
Then Jesus uses the illustration of a man that builds his house. He says, “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Notice with me that Jesus said that the man is building a house. We are all building our houses. It is not the building that makes a difference in a storm. The thing that will determine the outcome is the foundation of the house. When a house has a bad foundation, it will not survive. No matter how ornate and beautiful the house is, it will not stand. The important thing in our lives is not our fame, fortune, or finesse. It is our foundation. The thing that is not visible to our family and friends until after the storm is our foundation.
Jesus then tells us this man digs deep and lays the foundation on the rock. This tells us that it takes work to lay this foundation. It is not something that will spring up by itself. It takes a commitment to build this foundation on the rock. A life that will weather the storms is not built on dirt. The dirt first needs to be removed until we reach the rock. This process is not enjoyable, but it is needed so that the building would have a foundation on the rock. Jesus then says that this house is well built.
There is a lighthouse in Lake Superior that is known as the loneliest place in North America. It is 42 miles north of Marquette, Michigan. This lighthouse is beaten by winds and waves of many storms, but it has stood there for over 100 years. Occasionally, the Coast Guards goes out and replaces the windows that have been blown out and makes repairs to the equipment inside, but the structure stands. The reason it stands is that its foundation is a rock. Our lives will be a lighthouse if we stand in the storms. Let your life be a lighthouse to those who need it.