"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 wind blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

Hi Swamp Bloggers! Welcome back to the blog.

This week I've been thinking about this concept of building on a solid spiritual foundation. The passage above is found in Matthew 7, at the end of The Sermon on the Mount. After speaking about how to live on Earth, Jesus ends his sermon by talking about our spiritual foundation. He explains that there are two groups of people, those who build their foundation on the rock and those who build their foundation on the sand. Those who build their foundation on the rock are the wise builders; when storms come, their house remains standing. But, those who build their foundation on the sand, the foolish builders, lose their home with a great crash when the storm comes.

Everyone wants to be a wise builder. We all want something that will last us through the storms of life. Yet, how many are willing to take the time to build wisely and carefully on the rock? Here are three ways to help build on the right foundation, all based on The Sermon on the Mount, a passage campers from this summer are very familiar with. If you read through these, you may find that building on the rock ties closely with being an image seeker.

1.) Seek God's will out and apply it.

In the introduction to The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

-Matthew 5:6

This scripture indicates an attitude of the heart. Jesus says that his followers will be blessed if they hunger and thirst for what is right in God's eyes. And, continuously throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it clear that he is looking for people who seek from the heart and not just in empty actions. He makes this clear in his radicalness about anger and sexual immorality, about swearing and love for our enemies.

Jesus is looking for those who seek out his will, because they desire to do what is right by Him. And, this in turn, establishes a strong foundation, because it is a foundation built on conviction and repentance of the heart, not just legalistic actions.

2.) Seek to please GOD by your actions.

Jesus later says:

"Do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others."

-Matthew 6:5

Just like how Jesus wants us to seek out his will and apply it, He wants us to make sure we are doing it for Him. Jesus talks about prayer and fasting and compares his example to that of the hypocrites, who put their good deeds on display, only to be seen by others. Jesus warns that these men have received their reward in full. Instead, He tells his disciples to pray and fast in a secretive manner, so that no one except God knows.

This can help us in building our foundation on the rock in that if we are doing things only for God, we can be assured that we are building our life upon Him and his word. When we have true faith that our treasure is in Heaven, there is no one who can undermine our relationship with God.

3.) Ask God for wisdom.

Towards the end of The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

-Matthew 7:7

How could someone build a home without help from a wiser builder? When it comes to building our lives on a spiritual foundation, God is the master builder. He has all the wisdom and answers we could ever need. And, this scripture makes it clear that He is willing to give it to those who ask Him for it.

Jesus warns his followers at the end of his sermon that many will not make it on the road that leads to life. He says that false prophets will attempt to deceive them, and that some who claimed to be his own disciples will be turned away at the last day. Yet, there is comfort in knowing He is willing to give us wisdom when we ask. We can't truly build our foundation correctly, if we don't consult Him through the word and prayer.

I hope that these three "building tips" have inspired you in your journey to build or to continue building a solid foundation. While this blog was about having a strong foundation for the storms in life, there are physical storms occurring throughout the Eastern U.S. Coast this week. One million people have been ordered to evacuate, and people are already experiencing massive flooding from Hurricane Florence. If you would like to get involved in helping, you can click This Link to see how to volunteer and/or donate with Hope worldwide. Even if you can't, please remember to pray for those affected.

Thank you so much for reading. See you next week.

Much Love & Respect,

Julie