How firm is your foundation?

Posted by James Hahn on

Matthew 7:21-27

"That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built." - Luke 6:48

WHEN the flood came.  WHEN the river burst against the house.  Notice it's not "if" this happens but "when".  

The floods of life will come.  Jesus doesn't dance around this issue.  The floods will come to each and every one of us.  The floods of cancer, accidents, financial loss; they will come.  The river of problems with children, pain, suffering, and addiction will burst against the house.  It's part of the fallen world we live in.

Yes, it is a fallen world, one tainted by original sin.  But, lest we despair, this fallen world, full of floods and violent rivers is also a redeemed world.  The Redeemer doesn't give us some easy out, a way to avoid the floods.  Rather, He gives us the tools and materials needed to build a life that can stand - WHEN the floods come.  

The tools/materials are all there before us.  He even gives us the blueprint for the foundation in today's Gospel - Come, Listen, Act - "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but do not do what I command?  I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them."

To build this solid foundation upon Christ we need to come to Him.  Come to Him for everything.  It should be the first thing we do.  Facing a flood? Come to Jesus in prayer.  Is the river of suffering rising in your life?  Come to Jesus in prayer.  Come to Eucharistic Adoration.  Come receive His healing and freedom in Confession from the sin that is weighing you down.

The next part of the foundation is listening.  As the floods begin to rise it's not enough to simply tell Jesus about the issue.  We must also listen and listen with an open heart rather than to reply.  Facing a flood?  Listen to Jesus in Scripture?  Is the river of suffering rising around your family?  Listen to Jesus in Mass.  Listen to Jesus in good counsel, holy writings of the saints, and in the quiet of prayer.

Finally, the foundation is not complete without action.  Jesus is a doer.  He doesn't sit idle.  He not only gives us the blueprint but throughout scripture He also witnesses, does, lives the blueprint.  He is always giving us the plan.  He prays to the Father, listens to the Father, and acts on the Father's words.  Facing a flood? Pray, listen, act.  Is the river of suffering rising to overtake you?  Pray, listen, act.  Act by helping others in their floods.  Act by fasting.  Act by self-sacrifice.  Act by offering up your sufferings to God for the salvation of others.

If we follow this plan, the floods will not take us by surprise WHEN they come.  They will come and they may even scare us terribly.  Yet if our foundation is built on Christ through praying, listening, and acting we will find that "the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built."

How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation
Have you joined our 90 Day Adventure through the Bible? Join us and see yourself in the story of Salvation!  All the details are here!

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