WILL I STAND STRONG IN THE NEW YEAR?
“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.” Matthew 7:24-25
The coast of Maine showcases many 100-year-old homes nestled securely in the cliffs that grace the shore. They have withstood the test of time, in spite of the many elements that beat at their door. I’m sure the occupants have had some tense moments as hurricane force winds howled. But most likely, these homes never moved an inch. Any damage was probably minimal; a lost shingle perhaps.
Oh, that my spirit were that unmovable. Neither a phone call nor any tragic news delivered to my front door would have the capacity to uproot my connection to God and my belief in His love and sovereignty. I would be like that house, foundation built into the immovable cliffs, and nothing could rock it off its foundation.
How do I arrive at such a place of stability? “Hearing and doing”, Jesus says. Just hearing the truth, making notes, and pondering profound words in the stillness of the day is not enough. Words form suppositions – unproven. Yet, I am often content to bask in good teaching. I take copious notes, expand and challenge my mind, and assume that I’ve grown. Not true on a spiritual level.
It is not until I test what I learned, by putting it into practice, that new beliefs are cemented into my spirit as truth. I relax into them, knowing that they weathered against the storms of life and survived in tact. Every time I live them out, my foundation strengthens.
God is going to call each of us to new places in the coming year. He might have spent 2012 planting new seeds of truth. We might have thought that learning them and tucking them away was the point of it all. Not true! The real learning comes from experience; when we take the seeds and sow them in the soil of real life. Will I walk where He calls or will I choose to live inside the musty halls of my own head? I need never fear a new journey. The truths are tested. The Lord is my rock, my fortress.
There are things I say I believe that I’m scared to put into practice. But, I’m no longer content to save risk for another day. Now is the time, Lord! Amen
Originally published Friday, 30 December 2016.