S (Scripture) – Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall.”
O (Observation) – In our country, we believe we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In our pursuit of happiness, we have the freedom to do so essentially however we choose – to marry and have a family, to become an entrepreneur and own a business, to invest in higher education, to train for an athletic career, and many other worthwhile endeavors. The problem we face is when everything we have come to depend on for happiness completely falls apart and is crushed beneath the weight of a different reality that may come slamming against our lives like a hurricane. Lord, You are teaching us in this verse what we should build our lives on – if we trust in You as our foundation by hearing what You say and then doing what You have told us, then we will have our lives embedded in the rock of Your truth. You say in this verse that the rain will indeed fall, the floods will absolutely come, and the winds will blow and slam against our house, our life. Our trials may come through broken relationships, financial hardship, chronic health issues, the abuse of others, and any other number of unfortunate circumstances that rock the foundation of our world. Despite the inevitable turmoil, You promise us that we will not fall if we are founded in You. We will weather the storm together. In sharp contrast to the one who listens to Your word and puts it into practice is the one who listens to Your word, and decides instead that he or she knows better. When that person experiences life slamming against his or her house, it will fall; and it will be a great fall.
A (Application) – What does it look like to act on the words of Jesus? This would first assume that we have heard them and know what it is that has been said. Investing time in our relationship with the Lord is critical. Reading what He has said, memorizing key promises to hide them in our hearts, and then speaking them into our circumstances as we encounter them will lead to victory. We can’t speak truth into our situations if we don’t know what it is. It’s time to get serious about seeking first His kingdom. We don’t know when the storms of life will slam against our house, but we certainly shouldn’t wait until then to try and start claiming His promises for us. The time to hear and act is when there is no storm, so that when it does come, we are not fazed. The time for an Olympic athlete to prepare for the biggest competition in the world of sports is not a week before the games begin. The time to train is when you have years to prepare. Day in, and day out, when you think you have plenty of time, you put the work in. The discipline required to prepare more than you think you need to day after day will be what allows you to perform at such a high level when it really matters. One new commercial shares, “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.” That same premise of what we do in the dark (early morning hours when no one is watching) will put us in the light (of victory where all can see).
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for Your truth and Your promises to us. I pray that we will seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, and be able to rest in Your peace every day of our lives no matter what we face. This can only happen by the power of Your Holy Spirit that walks with us and is in us. As we spend time in Your word, in meditation, in prayer, in study, in fellowship with other believers, we find that we are slowly detaching from this world and its ideology, and instead becoming more grounded in Your truth, which is reality. When we are grounded in reality, we then see our trials and circumstances in their proper perspective. They pale in comparison to Your glory and Your promises for us. Eternity is forever, and our time on this earth is so short. May we invest in what will ultimately matter after all the storms have passed.