“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (NLT)
When troubles confront us and life seems like one violent storm after another, we truly want security. We want God to assure us we will be kept standing in the storm and afloat in the flood. And we may go on to believe that the key to this is a better knowledge of his promises in the Bible, or a deeper experience of his love.
These are valuable and can help. But Jesus’ focus is elsewhere. This passage reminds us to stand firm amidst adversity through obedience. So security is not just a matter of knowing the right things or saying the right things (like ‘Lord, Lord’). It is a matter of putting what we know into practice.
So my unwillingness to put my faith into action and take seriously the commands of God means I lack solid foundations and will flounder in the crisis. Or even worse, find that my faith was a fraud in any case and completely collapse.
Of course none of us obeys perfectly. But if we have intention of going God’s way, our troubles will find us out. For sure it is my faith in God’s faithfulness that provides the foundation and the security. But the genuineness and the reality of that faith is proven in how I live it out and determines if I stand firm or fall in a heap.