A Broken Bolt

Luke 6:47-49:“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like the man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Observation: In the long discourse of Luke 6, Jesus had used numerous parables and word pictures to deepen the understanding of his listeners. Since He desires obedience above all other character traits, it should not be surprising for Him to end with an illustration of someone who hears His words and acts upon them.

Application:     One notable thing about this parable is that floods will come; torrents will burst against us in life. It isn’t a matter of if, but when. It’s naiveté in the extreme to think that I can so live as to be insulated from raging torrents. As circumstances batter the seawalls of my life, I will soon know whether I will be left standing when the storm passes or whether my character has suffered from exposure to erosion. Will I be breached, or will I remain faithful and deepen my dependence upon Him? My natural tendency, which must be aggressively resisted, is to resolve to do better, to work smarter or harder. These can be desirable attributes, but if they are born of an unwise resolve to be self-reliant rather than God-reliant, they contain the seeds of my future destruction and death.

I want my life to be built upon a foundation no torrent can breach. But how can the strength of my foundation be certain without testing? And since my eternal life in Him depends upon my ability to stand in the face of adversity, should I not welcome that adversity now, to prove the durability of the foundation? The shuttle Challenger was doomed years before launch when certain minerals used to build a few strategic bolts were not adequately tested. Bolts broke, and all was lost because of a foundational error in the manufacturing process long before those bolts’ future significance was known. Isn’t it better to be tested now, while correction is still possible?

Prayer:  Father, as I think about past testings in my life, You know how much I would like the process to have reached its end. But I know You have still more in store for me, don’t You? Purify me, Lord, that through testing I might become suitable for the wedding feast to come. Make me like Jesus, Father, so we can spend eternity together.

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