A Storm is ComingI believe a storm is coming. That storm will test what we believe in our hearts – about the LORD and His kingdom. We will learn just how spiritually prepared we have become. That storm will test our houses.

It is comforting to know that I am not alone in my beliefs about the storm; nor am I alone in my preparation. Just in my community, God is raising up a good number of houses that will stand in the storm. He is preparing a people that will be a light and a refuge to those who lose their houses – perhaps even those that have no houses at all. I am sure He is doing the same all over the country.

As we explored earlier, spiritual preparation is paramount. Yes, as with any storm, there are physical/practical things that God has given us wisdom to pursue. Still, we must ensure that these are done in faith, with God’s wisdom. We must be careful to avoid ungodly fear and the wisdom of man.

So, how does one prepare for a storm? I have been thinking about this a lot lately (no surprise there); and I have been discussing the subject with everyone that seems interested. I recently met with 21 other mature Christian men to discuss what it means to be spiritually prepared. You can review the notes from that meeting here.

One of the things I have learned, and humbly offer to you today, is what I believe to be the obvious first step in building a house that will withstand the storm. It comes to us from 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.

Here, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus draws a contract between two men and their houses. To appreciate the contrast, we must first understand the common denominators:

  • Both men heard the sayings of Jesus;
  • Both men build houses; and
  • Both men were subjected to a storm.

Both men had ears to hear and they knew that building a house was important. Both men had to face the storm. The storm is for everyone.

Now for the contrast:

  • One man did the sayings of Jesus, and his house stood against the storm;
  • One man did not do the sayings of Jesus, and his house fell in a great way.

The correlation is clear: Do the sayings of Jesus and your house will stand; do not do them and it will fall. Make of this what you will; please, because it must mean something. As for me, I have come to the conviction that the men in this passage are people inside and outside the church – the lost and the redeemed; and that includes those whose houses fell.

To be clear, I am suggesting (rather strongly) that there are people in the church who are building their houses on sand. I am suggesting that we all need to ask ourselves the question:

Am I hearing the sayings of Jesus AND DOING THEM?

This begs another question:

Do I even know what the sayings of Jesus are?

You can find a list “of these sayings of Mine” here – that you might know and challenge yourself about the doing. I suggest that you do this with others in your spheres of influence. It’s a great discipling exercise.

The Building Plan for a House that Stands

While I have your attention, let me share a few passages that should bring this home to root in your heart, and encourage you in your pursuit of a sturdy house.

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. John 14:21

“He who has My commandments and keeps them” is equivalent to “He who hears these sayings of mine, and does them”. This is the one who loves his Lord, and is loved in return by his Lord and the Father. Furthermore, he is the one to whom the Lord will manifest Himself.

This manifestation of the Lord is more important than we might imagine.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper… John 14:15-16

To stand in the storm that is coming, we need to be transformed. It is only in beholding the Lord that this is possible. Our beholding requires Him manifesting Himself to us. Furthermore, our transformer – the Holy Spirit – has come to dwell in us in response to our love and obedience to Jesus’ commandments.

Finally, our transformation is for a purpose; His purpose.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13

Our transformation prepares us to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God – in the storm and in its aftermath. He is working in us – as we obey and work out our salvation – to will and do to His good pleasure. What is that pleasure? Jesus said it this way:

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

What’s good for the Father is good for us; and it all begins with “and does them”. I hope and pray that you are as encouraged as I have become: That God is preparing us for the coming of His Son. Let us so live our lives as to hasten the day of His return.

In closing, let me encourage you in the importance of recognizing that there are many who are either blinded to the signs, or have determined to ignore the warnings. This should not surprise or discourage us. It is important that we continue warning everyone in our spheres of influence; as well as those whom God has, and will, put in our path. Some will “get it” before the storm hits; others, in the storm’s aftermath. In either case, they will know where to turn when the storm hits. It will be a great opportunity for the kingdom and glory of God.

Humbly yours and forever His,