The Wise and Foolish Builder

Christus in the storm on the lake; Rembrandt (...

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete (Lk. 6:46-49).

I recently read the nursery fable The Three Little Pigs to my son. As you recall, the mother reluctantly sent her three sons to each build their own houses, warning them to be watchful of the big bad wolf. The first pig didn’t take her mother’s advice seriously. He built his house quickly out of straw, and when the enemy came he easily destroyed the foundation. The second pig was wiser. He built his house out of wood. However, this was no match for the big bad wolf. Similarly, he “huffed, puffed, and blew the house down.” The third pig was wisest of them all. He built his house out of brick. When the enemy came to kill, steal, and destroy, he didn’t have enough power to blow down the foundation. He was safeguarded from the enemy because he heeded his mother’s advice. 

The gospel informs us that we have many enemies who want to destroy us like the big bad wolf. Our greatest enemy, Satan, is no fable but a real enemy that roars around like a lion, seeking whom to devour (1 Pet. 5:8).The story of Job is an example of a righteous man receiving all the assaults of the devil, but standing immovable because his foundation was laid on solid rock. When his own wife told him to curse God and die, He said, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” When being falsely accused by his own friends, Job continued to maintain his integrity. This is because of his trust and obedience to God.

When the storms of life come, whether it be Satan, false accusations, financial troubles, loss of a loved one, fear of losing your job, are you laying your foundation on the solid rock or are you trusting in your own strength? Jesus is the solid rock, the all-powerful Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. He is able to endure your hardships so cast all your cares and anxieties on Him because He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7). His burden is easy and His yoke is light (Matt. 5:11). He doesn’t promise to take away the storms of life (notice both the wise and foolish builder are confronted with the storms), but He does promise to be your comforter and help you grow in perseverance and godly character through fiery trials (James 1:2).

2 Practical Steps to building a Strong Foundation

1. Meditate on God’s Word and memorize Scripture. When a difficult situation comes, repeat the bible verse Psalm 18:31 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” This will remind you to obtain wisdom and power through Him.

2. Get involved with a local church. The body of Christ exists for the purpose of sharpening one another’s faith. Jesus told Peter that not even the gates of Hell can prevail over the church. The church also helps us keep one another accountable. If we try to follow Christ alone, we will not be as effective. It’s like trying to study a foreign language by yourself without taking a class. Most of us need the accountability of a class to actually learn a new language.

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