“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
This week we are talking about vision, intention and practice. Let’s talk today about intention. Jesus’ sermon on the mount ends with a warning of calamity. He didn’t just give information, but he spoke of transformation. If we choose to follow Jesus, there is no turning back. If we hear his words, then we will be blessed if we do them. Doing takes intention which includes both decision and desire.
Decision is willful. Luke 14:28 says “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” The point is to have a plan to finish the house. Its purpose is to last. The design of the house is deliberate and requires effort. It is built definitively to withstand the storms that will inevitably come. Security and stability come from building a foundation on him alone, no matter how firm the sand might feel.
Desire is determined. Where did the wise man get the desire to do after he heard? From having a relationship with Jesus, The Rock. He changes our desires from the inside out when we become a new creature with a new heart. Jesus is able to give us the desire to do right and do our best in response to his love. Determine to rely on Jesus to help you keep giving your heart totally to him and to fill you with desire to please him only. The delight of our hearts reveals our treasure.
“Delight yourself in the Lord“ (Psalm 37:4). “He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17b NIV). When I cook a fancy dinner for my husband and he asks “What’s the occasion?”, I wouldn’t say “I felt it was my duty.” I would say “Just because I love you.” Duty is good but delight is better. In the same way, God is pleased when we take steps to continually renew our minds, train our wills and transform our desires to track with his. Not out of duty but out of love.
Make it your intention to decide to keep building your life on The Rock and to desire to please him in all things. Practicing needs prayer. Write a sentence or two you can read or recite daily to God your Father, to stand firm in his Son, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
By Donna Burns