I love to walk the beach, but only on the part close to the water -- on the sand that's been hard-packed by the surf. Running on the loose shifting sand gave me the worse ankle injury of my life!
Are you looking for some solid, stable ground on which to place your foot? Or your marriage, or your home, or your career?
Me too. This morning I found it. Or rather I found directions to it. Actually, I found it and it was pointing back at itself. Take a look:
"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
The Hebrew understanding of the word "hear" isn't just the physical act of hearing. It's not even the more intentional effort of listening. No, the Hebrew conception embodied within the word "hear" is to hear and respond.
The biblical act of hearing isn't complete until we've responded to it.
If we have "ears to hear" as the biblical idiom goes, we don't just perceive what God is saying. We don't just listen to the sermon. We don't just cognitively understand what the Bible teaches, we hear it, believe it and endeavor to live it. We respond to the truth.
We build our house on it.
We bank on it.
We source our lives there.
And when we fail to do that, we risk a crash according to this passage.
This has me thinking, how much Bible knowledge or scripture understanding do you and I have, but do not respond to?
How quick is our responsiveness?
Looking back, the greatest times of growth in my life as a Christian correspond with the times I've been the most responsive to God's truth.
Scripture study and Bible memorization are terrific disciplines. They're critical to growing in Christ. But they're of little good unless we allow them to transform us. We have to respond.
If you're feeling spiritually sluggish or stuck, consider: How responsive have I been to God or scripture lately? Have I yielded to what He's asked of me?
Let's be responsive today.
I know that's easy for me to say ... I'll have my toes in the surf.