Read This Week: Matthew 7
“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. 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. 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
– Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
A house, building, or structure of any kind is only as good as its foundation. Casual knowledge of construction may lead one to believe that the foundation is just another element of the overall process. But it is the most important part of building anything. Mistakes made in the foundation will only get worse as the rest of the project goes up. This progressive worsening is known as compounding defect, and it means that these flaws only grow and impact the entire structure. However, a solid, stable foundation results in compounding strength, and it ensures that the whole house will be formidable and stand the test of time no matter what comes.
Compound strength is what Jesus was teaching about in Matthew 7. He addressed the judgment of others, the boldness of faith to seek God and ask Him for things, the narrow path to salvation, and discerning the difference between true and false teachers and disciples. Then, in a capitulation of addressing all this, Jesus reveals the key to it all – a solid foundation built on the Word of God. He says in verses 24-25:
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. 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.
Building the proper foundation is of vital importance in life. Jesus taught extensively about that which underwrites our morals, values, and principles can ultimately determine our outcome. We see in His teachings that earthly distractions, flawed subjectivity, discontentment, sin, and poor judgment can lead to restlessness and dissatisfaction with the process of building the right foundation. Yet, every foundation has a result for better or worse, and we ultimately want one of compound strength, not one of defect.
Jesus encourages us to take an intentional approach to what we build our lives on. The best foundation may be taking too long for our desires. Instant gratification can lead us to a false conclusion that the shortest process is the one we should be taking. But the best isn’t always the quickest. Right does not equal fast. The longer foundational process may be the best one for us. Our lives will benefit from the development of patience, endurance, and character while our goals and dreams marinate and gain experience.
The best foundation might be a little too difficult for our liking. Insecurity and discomfort with our surroundings become our building blocks and affect the entire framework of our lives. But the best isn’t always the safest. Right does not equal easy. The risky process may be the best one for us. Our lives will benefit from the development of resolve, obedience, and courage while our faith and hope materialize in the face of uncertainty.
The Word of God holds the wisdom, credibility, and sovereign power to help us build the best foundation that will lead to compound strength in our lives. This holistic strength will help us withstand the struggles and challenges of the journey, stand up to the storms and shifting sands of life, and keep us grounded when we have success. We must be wise builders of our lives and base them on the eternal foundation of the Lord’s objective truth and perfect words. He is the rock-solid base that will not allow us to fall.