What would you be willing to sacrifice to have a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean right outside your windows? Well first, you would need millions of dollars. But what about the sacrifice of stability? The sacrifice of a firm foundation. The sacrifice of knowing that house might not be there after the storm.
Yesterday I took a group of podcast listeners and BIG Life girls on an adventure here in Southern California. We went kayaking in the sea caves off the shore of beautiful LaJolla. There on the shore were mansions built on the edge of the cliff, hundreds of feet above the ocean. These homes were literally hanging off the edge, providing the most stunning views from every room in the house. I quickly thought, wow … to live in one of those houses! What a treat that would be.
Then our kayak guide told us a story. A story of the light pink house with the strange looking slab of cement sticking out from the cliff. On that cement once sat their guest house. One night a storm came in and the waves came crashing, and their entire guest house fell hundreds of feet down into the ocean. To add insult to injury, they were fined millions of dollars for the cleanup required.
In that moment I decided I was glad I didn’t own that house.
Why did this happen? Those houses are built on sandstone instead of rock. The sand is continually eroding and caving in. Eventually every one of those houses will fall, it’s just a matter of time.
Jesus warned us this wasn’t a good idea. He warned us of getting caught up in the beauty of the view and forgetting the importance of the foundation.
Matthew 7:24-27 is Jesus’ parable of The Wise and Foolish Builder:
“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 one thing in common here for both houses, they’re both hit by storms. Storms are a fact of life and not a single one of us are immune to it or excluded from it. Crap happens. Hardships hit. Struggles are real and life gets hard. Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean your house is isolated from the storms. Nope, life is going to get you too. Satan will attack your marriage. He will attack your children. He will go after your dreams. He will bring his best storms right to your door.
You are guaranteed to have troubles in this life. It’s promised. You shouldn’t be shocked when things happen, after all we have been warned. Jesus said “in this world, YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE.” Look around, are you living in this world? Yes, yes you are. You’re still here on Earth this side of heaven, so of course there is trouble. We must build our house to prepare for that trouble, not just hope trouble won’t come to our side of town.
So Jesus says the storms will come on all of us, the ability to withstand the storm depends on our foundation. What have you built your life on?
Is your life built on image? It’s all about the Instagram photo and the likes it will get? Oh girl, that’s gonna come crashing down. You may have photos of smiling faces, but those families are falling apart behind the scenes.
Is your life built on praise? You sacrifice everything that is true to just play a role that makes everyone like you. Let me tell you something, that is exhausting. What happens when the praise stops? You lose your identity. Don’t you know you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Is your life built on what you have and what more you can get? It’s all about looking good and gathering more. I call that hungry. Whew, we get hungry for all the things that tell the world we’re important and special. Hungry. More, more, more. And the truth is behind all that, we’re starving for something that is real and we go through life hungry. It’s never enough, so we’re never satisfied.
These are foundations of sand. And the truth is, we know better than to build our life on these superficial things, but there’s such a pull to do so. That’s the truth, there’s just an undeniable pull to seek the image, follow the praise, and accumulate the stuff. But deep down, we have a voice inside that tells us otherwise. That still small voice within that says, “this isn’t the answer, don’t do this again.”
That voice is the voice of the Spirit of God living in you. What if you started listening to it? What if when that voice said “put your phone down and be here”, you actually started doing that? What if when that voice said “don’t post that photo for the praise”, you actually didn’t post the photo? What if when that voice said “you don’t need to buy that”, you actually didn’t buy it.
What if you built your life on the voice God put inside of you to guide and direct you? That voice still speaks, listen to it.
I guarantee you when the contractor built that house on the edge of the cliff in LaJolla, he heard that voice. That voice told him, this isn’t a good idea. This isn’t smart. This is risky as heck. But he did it anyway, and it all came crashing down.
Have you ever ‘done it anyway’, then it all came crashing down?
I certainly have. I’ve heard the voice, ignored the voice, and kept doing it my way. Guess how that ended?
I bet you have a few of those stories yourself. You knew he wasn’t the right one. The red flags were everywhere, but you wanted it to be real and you wanted it to be right now so bad, so you started building right there on that sand. The storms hit and that relationship crumbled didn’t it?
The great news is, God doesn’t shame us into a corner and punish us for the rest of our lives. He doesn’t give us the silent treatment and leave us to figure things out on our own. No, his spirit still speaks. He still lovingly guides us. He uses past fallen houses and failed attempts to teach us for the next build.
This time, build better. Listen to him. He gives you those nudges for a reason. Stop pushing so hard for your own way and trust his way.
What Jesus is saying is don’t take my words and just work them into your life, BUILD YOUR LIFE ON MY WORDS. He is the solid rock. He is the firm foundation. Build from there.
There’s a big difference between building your life on what he says and just trying to sprinkle his words on top of what you’re already doing.
Your morning is the foundation of your day. Right here, this morning you are building your day. Begin it on the firm foundation of Jesus. A storm may be coming today, and if this day is built on the sand of Facebook and Instagram time you may just be in for some falling apart!
If there is any area of your life where you’re struggling, have you looked to God’s word to find your answer? If you’re struggling with breaking a bad habit, creating a change, overcoming worry, making a decision, or living with a difficult person, guess what is int he Bible … YOU ANSWER! Yes, within his word is the answer you seek. Use the gift of google and search “scripture for when you’re worried” or “scripture for when you need willpower”.
Find his truth and build your decisions and actions on that firm foundation. Then when the storms hit, and they will, when you’re tempted by the ease of a Poptart or the deliciousness of a fresh doughnut, girl you will be STRONG and weather that storm! When you’re tempted by the flattery of another man or the clearance rack holding all the things you really don’t need, boom you will walk on by!!!
That’s a girl with some firm foundations. No more sandy building of a life for you. You’re on the rock now!