Lord, as I learn Your truths
and grow in Your wisdom,
I don’t want to be a “hearer” only –
but also a “doer” of Your word.
Thank You for lifting me up and
setting my feet upon the rock.
You are my firm foundation.
Series: “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear”
As a teen, my family spent summer vacations in the Ozarks. Lush horseback-riding trails, clear trout-fishing streams, and thick cavernous woods provided plenty of activities. One afternoon, my brothers and I decided to go spelunking. We entered an opening in the ground and made our way into a wide-open cave that narrowed to a muddy tunnel. We forged ahead, squirming on our bellies through the darkness, focusing on the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Covered in mud, we were thrilled and relieved to reach the end, pop out of the earth, and get our feet back on solid ground!
I’ve reflected on that experience many times, gleaning multiple life-lessons. First and foremost, NEVER enter a cave – or unknown situation – without the proper guide, knowledge, skill, and equipment. Second, always let someone know where you are and what you are doing. Third, in every situation, look for the light. Fourth, don’t quit. Keep moving forward. Fifth, solid ground is always better than the miry mud and sinking sand.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus taught a parable about the solid rock and the sinking sand. He had been teaching many truths with wisdom and power. The people marveled at the authority in which He spoke. At the close of this great sermon – the Sermon on the Mount – Jesus said:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Those who hear Jesus’ words and do them are wise. When the storms come, their houses will not fall – their lives will not be destroyed – because their foundation is solid rock. However, those who hear His teachings and don’t do what He says are foolish. When the storms of life come, their houses will fall and there will be great loss – because their foundation is loose sand.
James, in Chapter 1:22-25, repeated this lesson, encouraging the readers to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” If we hear only, we will forget what was said and will have no lasting foundation to stand upon. But when we act on what we have heard, we are strengthened and blessed.
In Psalm 40, David tells of a storm he was experiencing. He cried out to God and waited upon Him. God heard and answered David, lifting him out the place of destruction – out of the miry clay, and setting his feet firmly upon the rock, causing his steps to be secure.
Do you feel squeezed in a dark tunnel? Stuck in the mud? Losing ground on a slippery slope? Are you looking for solid ground? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Seek Him in the scriptures. Don’t just read His words, but act upon them. The foundation of your life will be securely built upon the rock – the Chief Cornerstone. The storms of life may still beat upon you – but with feet firmly planted upon the Rock of Salvation, you shall not be shaken.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Matthew 7:24-27, 21:42; Luke 6:47-49; Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 40:2, 118:22; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-7; James 1:22-25