Matthew 7:24-27 “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: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The rain and the floods come to all of us, both the saved and the unsaved. Jesus gives an illustration here of two people, both encountering rain and floods, but one stood and one fell. He is using this illustration to show us the importance of the foundation we have in our lives. One house was built on sand and when the flood came, it fell and great was it’s fall! The other house was built on hearing and doing God’s word. When the floods came to that house, it stood because it had a firm foundation!
Folks, the time to win over a storm is not when it comes but before it happens, in the preparation for it! The promises that God gives us in His word are to help us win the battles of life. He has given us the equipment that we need for victory, but many times we are not prepared for the battle when it comes. Hearing and doing the word of God during the good times will strengthen you for the difficult days ahead. If you are not able to trust God for provision for the little things you will not be able to believe that He will give you what you need when the storm comes.
If you want to have the right words come out of your heart when you are squeezed then you must put the right words in your heart in preparation for the times of pressure. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3:
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
How does a soldier prepare for battle? He first makes sure he has the proper dress and equipment. The armor of God gives us the proper dress. We go into battle as we are suited up for it!
Ephesians 6:10, 11 Finally, my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Our strength for the battle comes not from our own abilities, but from the Lord. He is the One who enables us to win. But we have a part to play in it. He provides the suit of armor, but we have to put it on. He gives us the weapons to use, but we have to be the ones to use them. His word will equip us to win, but we must be the ones to put it into our heart and act on it.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
What are you holding fast to? What anchor are you using to anchor yourself in the storms of life? Paul told Timothy to hold fast to a pattern that he had seen and heard in him. Paul preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing left out, without compromise; the truth in it’s fullness. That is a pattern for us to follow. What ministers are you listening to? Are they teaching you the full gospel of Jesus Christ or are they giving only an inspirational message that makes you feel good at the moment? Jesus said the anchor or firm foundation that you would need is hearing and doing His word. That takes a day by day devotion to the word of God, putting it into your heart and obeying what it says. The victory for battle is won before you ever go into battle.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Paul told Timothy that the time is coming when people will hop from one teacher to the next, looking for someone who will tickle their ears, or tell them what they want to hear. But the truth is what counts. Beware that you are not lulled away through fables or simply motivational speakers. Keep your focus on what is right and true and fulfill what God has called you to do. Live your life by the truth regardless of what is going on around you and you will be prepared to win in the stormy times.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Man or woman of God, child of God, you must rely on the word of God! You must use the Word as your anchor! It is able to make you wise, to show you the right way to live, to give you the equipment you need to complete you, to make you ready to win and to give you what you need to pass on to others so they can live a successful life as well. It is as you search out the Scriptures for the truth that you need in your life to give you the victory that you will be strengthened for the battle. Faith will arise in your heart as you learn the word and live it! Jesus prepared for the battle of the cross through prayer, before He went to Calvary.
Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus was saying here to watch, keep awake, be spiritually alert and pray. Your spirit knows what is needed to win the battle, but your flesh will want to cave in.
The way to prepare for the battle of sickness is before it hits. Proper nourishment, exercise and sleep patterns help keep the physical man prepared to win the battle against sickness and disease. The spirit man needs the nourishment of the word of God regarding healing and physical wholeness.
The way to prepare for marriage issues is to study the word and apply it before you’re on the rocky road. Get the word of God into your heart about how He expects a husband and wife to respond to each other and put into practice the unconditional love and acceptance that is required to nurture love and respect. Then when the battle comes your marriage will be solid enough to endure the storm.
When fear comes against you, concentrate on the scriptures that will build faith. Faith counteracts fear. You can’t be in faith and fear at the same time. Look at people in the Word that have overcome great obstacles and pattern your life after them. If you have godly leadership in your life, watch them and pattern your lives after theirs. Make sure to remember that they are simply human, like you, and are subject to moral and ethical failures. But as they obey God and walk by faith, allow them to lead you in the way you should go as well.
Hebrews 13:7-9 AMP Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith (their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). Do not be carried away by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace (God’s favor and spiritual blessing) and not [to be devoted to] foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no [spiritual] benefit or profit to those who observe them.
Notice that there are some things that you are to look for in leaders before you follow them:
- They bring you the Word of God; not a watered down version, but the Word that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
- They are men and women of integrity, living their lives as well-spent, productive in their Christian walk.
- They are people of faith, living out their belief in God and leaning their whole personality on him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness.
- They teach the truth, not a flaky, legalistic rules-based teaching, but one that is based on the Word of God that teaches grace and relationship with the Lord, instead of simply rule keeping, which doesn’t profit you spiritually, but only puts you into bondage to a performance based lifestyle.
All of these different approaches to life will place you on a solid foundation and prepare you to weather the storms of life with strength. Depend on the Lord to lead you and guide you in the way you should go, not relying on your own understanding but always acknowledging Him in all that you do. He will direct you and enable you to win! Put the word into your heart and then when the time comes that you need it the Holy Spirit will bring it back to your remembrance so you can act on it!
The one thing that Jesus told Peter about the storm that was about to come into his life in Luke 22:31, 32 was that even though Satan had asked to sift Peter as wheat through the storm, that Jesus had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. And then he told him that after he had endured the storm and come back to Him, that he should strengthen his brethren. The storm is designed to get you to give up your faith; to suffer defeat and to pull you away from the Lord. But after every test comes a testimony! Through every mess comes a message. You, after you have stood firm through the storm, will have something to share with others! God does not waste your sorrows and trials.
2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Through the difficulties that I have endured in life has come the ability to comfort those who are suffering those same things. God comforts us so we can comfort and help others. He brings us out of bondage to the storms of life so we can encourage those who might be going through a storm.
This song has meant so much to me because it speaks of how God prepares us to help those around us who may be suffering as we have suffered. He takes our pain and turns it into something of meaning, of purpose, so we do not feel as if we suffered for nothing.
Father, I pray for those who may be going through the storm right now. I ask You, Lord, to give them the scriptures that they need to pray and to stand firmly upon until they come out of the storm victorious. For those who may be experiencing peaceful times right now, I pray that You would impress upon them the need to prepare for the storms that may come. Help us all to stand on Your word, to put it deeply into our hearts so it will take root and grow and prepare within us that firm foundation that we need to build our lives upon. Help us to not just be hearers of the word but doers also, that we might exhibit the strength that comes through a foundation built on You, on Your word and by Your Spirit. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer offered up in the name of Jesus. Amen.