“Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…”. Matthew 7:25
Jesus taught parables, using everyday occurrences that the masses could relate to, to teach profound truths. Everyday live examples made sense to the people but the profoundness of the words often needed to be pondered and explored to obtain their fuller meaning.
The verse above highlights two aspects central to Jesus’ teaching – ‘hearing’ and ‘doing’. ‘Hearing’ was more than simply hearing words with their ears. Each individual needed to hear with not only their natural understanding and senses, but to hear with their spirits, the place where the Spirit of the Lord gives revelation. Listening required an active posture of paying attention to what was spoken, meditating or digesting what each word meant and extracting the significance or depth of meaning behind the words.
The second aspect – ‘doing’ followed after the hearing aspect. ‘Doing’ required an intentionality, a decision, a choice of the will, to activate oneself, to move forward, to act upon and to implement with a clear sense of obedience. The absence of any activity is also a form of doing – a passive form, but yet a choice of the heart.
In Matthew 7: 24-27, Jesus describes an individual who listens and follows through on what He taught as being a ‘wise’ person. Such an individual was one who discerned the truth behind Jesus’ words and the intention of His heart, grasping the deeper meaning and implications and wrestling through the hard questions and decisions required. Once understanding these aspects, the person made a choice to do something, to engage in a process that was strategic and clear, and to persevere to see a goal achieved.
The reality of rain, wind and floods was understood by the people listening to Jesus’s words. This natural lifecycle was familiar to them – the spring and winter rains, the thawing of the snow on the mountain tops and the overflowing of the Jordan River in its due season.
Like the elements of weather, our Christian walk is filled with challenges and testings. Refinement of our character is part of our sanctification process, dying to self and growing into the image of Jesus Christ. We can yield to the process and His purposes or resist His work in our lives.
Wisdom is linked to hearing and doing. We choose how we position ourselves to grow in wisdom in all our financial dealings. Ultimately, will we be found to be wise in the eyes of the Lord or like a foolish person given to enticements and distractions that keep us from building solid foundations in our lives as it relates to our money and possessions?
What step can you take today to begin building a solid foundation?