“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 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. 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.”
We are often tempted by shortcuts. They aren’t always bad, of course. If your GPS suggests a route you have never tried before, it might save a little time or a few extra miles. Navigational shortcuts are one thing, but when it comes to getting important things done, shortcuts are often just excuses to cut corners, and that can lead to real trouble. Especially if you are constructing a home. And even worse, if you are trying to build a strong, healthy spiritual life.
Jesus’ story imagines two men building their homes. One takes the time to do it right, laying a strong foundation to stabilize his house. The other builder cuts corners, takes the easy way, thinks he knows a shortcut, and cares more about getting it done than getting it right. The collapse of the second man’s house represents the lazy, shortcut-following life of someone who claims to know Jesus but doesn’t do what He says. That sort of spiritual life is all too common and all too tragic. What Jesus wants, of course, is for us to take the time to dig down deep, to lay the foundation of our souls on the solid rock of knowing Jesus, listening to him and putting his words into practice.
It’s hard to dig down deep. It requires careful planning, like reading God’s word each day. It takes strong tools, like faithful prayer. It involves sweat and sore muscles, like the effort it takes to actually obey God’s word, putting into practice the wisdom and teaching of Jesus. There are no shortcuts when it comes to following our Lord. Cutting corners in your spiritual life leads to disappointment and may result in the collapse of your faith. Instead, put in the hard work of obedience and spiritual devotion, and commit yourself to actions of love and service. A well-lived, deeply dug life will honor Jesus and will steady your heart against the torrents of trouble we all face.
God of Grace, help me to do what You want and to put into practice the wisdom of Jesus. Thank You for showing me grace when I need it and for allowing my life to rest secure on the firm foundation of Your love. I pray in my Savior’s name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian