Monday, January 6, 2014
What Are You Doing?
Luke 6:46 ¶ “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?
Luke 6:47 I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them.
Luke 6:48 That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.
Luke 6:49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
It’s so much easier to follow the way of the crowd, the “broad way.” God does show us the way to go and gives us good direction in life, and yet, there are times that we simply choose to not do what he tells us to do! Our actions speak much louder than our words. We cannot simply say that we will follow God, but our lives must be a reflection of him — of following him and imitating him in all that we do.
The ones who listen to the Lord will build their lives on a deep and solid foundation. They will take the time to build it wisely because we all know that life brings with it many difficulties and in those moments we will be unable to stand if the foundation has not been built on him!
Years ago when we were missionaries we were busy building a youth center outside of Moscow. This site was used for camps and theological education but it took a lot of visiting teams to come over and help us make our dream a reality. At the time our girls were little and they loved helping out the Work and Witness teams and “learning” all kinds of construction skills from them. During a particular period of construction the team was framing in new parts of the building. It was the responsibility of one gentleman to use the table saw and cut the studs to the proper length. There were lots of small pieces of left-over wood laying around after this exercise. Our little girls wanted so badly to build something in the back yard that they approached “Grandpa Roy” — the Work and Witness coordinator, and asked him if there were pieces of wood they could use to build their own house in the backyard. He told them that they could but they could only use wood that was — and he lifted up his hands to show them — only this big or smaller. He showed them a distance of about 18 inches, or 45 cm.
The girls were very busy, and also very quiet. Every parent knows that when they’re that quiet you’d probably check up on them! Wow - they had been busy building a little “house” or shack in the back yard. On further inspection the house had some pretty nice looking wood in it. Grandpa Roy and we parents began to wonder where they were getting this wood. Weren’t they using the “scraps?” So, we began to do some of our own investigative work only to discover that the man running the table saw had not been in on the conversation between the girls and Grandpa Roy. The girls kept taking really nice studs to the man running the saw and asking him to cut it just “this big” — the size Grandpa Roy had indicated. Instead of using scraps, they were using the wood intended for the building project! And they simply thought Grandpa Roy was helping them with their building plan.
Ultimately their building plan had a few fatal flaws, even though they were using the good studs. They failed to realize the need for a foundation for their house. It was in the heat of summer and the ground was baked solid and so they had nailed their little house directly into the ground. This was their foundation. It all looked okay until the evening thunderstorm rolled in and the water ran beneath their house turning their foundation into mud. By the next morning the entire house was lying flat on its side. A lesson learned!
Jesus has come to prepare a way for us, so that we might be able to follow him on the highway of holiness. We go to church and we call him Lord — and yet, do we really follow him? It seems that so often when we run into the difficulties of life it is because we have tried to trek off in our own direction, or maybe failed to heed the instructions. Our little girls were looking for shortcuts. The project failed. Too often we’re looking for short cuts, for the easy answers in life, but they don’t come.
When life suddenly seems to be out of kilter, maybe we ought to step back and say, “What am I doing?” Take some time to evaluate whether you are calling him Lord, and yet, are failing to do what he tells you to do.
We all know that the rainstorms of life will come and will pound us. Will we stand? Will we make it? Only if we dig deep and build the foundation that Jesus has laid before us.
Lord, please help me to dig deep every day and continue to follow your path. Amen.