A Genuine Quicksand Conundrum
“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. 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. 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but as a younger christian, this passage always spoke to me safety and security, that if I was a christian, I was one of the one building on the rock and therefore I was sweet. But after doing a bit of reading of Carson, it quickly became clear to me that this passage actually wants to challenge that safety and security.
See, this passage comes at the end of a section starting at 7:13, which talks about falsity in people’s relationships with Christ. We about false prophets, about false disciples, and then we come to this passage, in the same thematic bracket, before moving on to recounting a whole heap of Jesus’ miracles.
So what is this passage saying? Well, it is describing the choices and actions of christians; the ‘putting into practice’ of Jesus’ words. For a christian who hears Jesus words, forms a genuine relationship with him, and responds in his actions, there is great comfort knowing that you are building your house on the rock. This passage, and the ones before it, use analogies to show that if a person has a true relationship with Christ, their actions, thoughts, decisions – their life and it’s practices, will be influenced, driven by and reflect Christ. However, this passage calls us to examine ourselves; to examine not just what we profess, but whether it is based on a true relationship with Jesus. And if we find that this is not the case, we are told that we are building our houses on sand, only to be torn down by the rain.
So then, what are we to do? We are to reflect on the nature of our relationship with Jesus. Are you a christian that has been going to church for a while, but hasn’t really taken your faith on as the guiding light in your life yet? Are you a family-based christian, than attends church on easter and Christmas because that’s what the rest of the family does? Do you think there could be some merit to this whole christianity thing and you are intrigued but have never looked into it? Are you a keeno who sits at the front of church every week?
No matter where you are, we all have work we can be doing on our relationship with Christ, to not become lazy, complacent or put off our relationship with Christ. And we work on this relationship knowing with absolute confidence that if we ‘draw near to God, he will draw near to you’ (James 4:8)
If you were completely honest with yourself, what are the top 3 things that inform your thoughts, decisions and actions in life?