“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 left off with a question about how we could change the content of our hearts, and here Jesus answers the question. The problem most of us have with this is that we read His words as history, an old speech text from another time:
“Very interesting, what’s for lunch?”
Since that’s how we approach these things so much of the time, we find ourselves building our lives without much of a foundation. Yes, I’m quite serious; think about it…
We tend to read this the same way we might read any other history:
Early on the morning of March 4, 1861, Washington was quiet, there was a chill in the air; there were troops in the streets, thousands of troops. Rumors ran rampant throughout the Nation, extremist groups promised that Mr. Lincoln would never be sworn in as the Nation’s president at noon that day, as the country tore itself apart over the outcome of the November election…
Funny how that one popped into my head as an example… Where was I?
Oh yes, the way we read Jesus’ words…
The words of Jesus. In this case He is talking about His teachings in this sermon Luke 6:17 ff., these are not just words from the past, for Jesus IS The Word and these words are living and active. These words, if we allow them, will become not only our foundation, but who we are as human beings. The reason for this isn’t all that tough to grasp: Jesus and the words He taught are One and inseparable, they live within us in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. All we need to do is to allow them to work within us, to let go and let God work in our lives.
“How do I do that?”
Fair question. Here’s an action step for you: Pray them.
“OK Don, you are nuts!”
No, I’m not nuts… but it is counter-intuitive. Set aside some time alone in a quiet place, just as Jesus so often went off by Himself to spend time with the Father. Open to Luke 6:17, and pray the words in the text. As you go along, ask God to open your heart to His Word, to fill your being with His Word. Give the Holy Spirit permission to work the Word into your being, to make them a part of who you are. Don’t be afraid to ask Him questions about these words, and as you go along, to ask Him to forgive your errors that He reveals to you. Be sure to ask Him to replace your natural human desires and attitudes with His desires, attitudes and priorities.
Pray like this often; keep a journal.
Then see what happens as you continue to pray like this…