I’ve often been struck by Jesus’s words from the Sermon on the where he speaks about the disaster that strikes those who ignore his words.
“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon 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.” (Mt. 7:24-27)
Certainly it’s pretty clear that if we follow his instruction to us that things will be well…and if we don’t things will not go well. But what often hits me is that we won’t see the full effects of our obedience or disobedience until it’s too late.
Using the image of the house… prior to the storm, both houses are standing and may look pretty good. In the fair weather, your neighbor’s house may even look better than your house. It’s not until the time of testing…until the storm hits … that you find out the final verdict.
Several years ago, a very famous and wealthy man was having a birthday party for himself…he was in his mid-late 80’s. He invited the “rich and famous” to his private island for an extravaganza. He had spent much of his life publicly mocking God and God’s ways. At the time I thought, this man is very near the end of his life and apparently has no fear of judgement, of testing, of any sort of storm. He died a year or so later. I feared for his judgement.
It can often seem that the blatantly sinful man who distains God’s commands, who publicly blasphemes God and his ways… seems to be doing great. He may have plenty of money, a big house, cars, vacations… maybe the praise of the powerful…. his house, built on stand, is still standing. Yet, it will only be when the storm comes that we will see if it stands the test…. of course judgement before God is the final test.
While I may look pretty good when compared to some extreme public sinner (hey, I’m not as bad as Hitler…), nevertheless, I need to examine my own life and see how am I doing in following God’s words and his ways. We need not be afraid to do this. When we find ourselves falling short of God’s standard and his ways, we still have time to change our ways, to turn from our sin and turn to the Lord. It’s not too late… the storm has not fully hit yet. There’s still time to build our house on rock…on the rock of Jesus Christ. And when we do, we need not be afraid when the storms come. That is very good news.