Gen. Douglas MacArthur wrote this prayer for his son. He prayed: “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, & brave enough to face himself when he is afraid. One who will be proud & unbending in honest defeat, & humble & gentle in victory.
“Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds – a son who will know Thee, who is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease & comfort, but under the stress & spur of difficulties & challenge.
“Here let him learn to stand up to the storm. Here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
“And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious but never take himself too seriously. Give him humility so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, & an open mind of true wisdom, & the meekness of true strength.
“Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, `I have not lived in vain.’”
A good foundation is what keeps a house from falling apart. A good foundation keeps us strong in the midst of so much weakness. A good foundation is necessary to handle the storms of life at all levels. Jesus spoke about that strong foundation in Matthew 7:24-27 and He gives all of us the opportunity to live in the Hard Rock Cafe’ or the House of Blues. He makes a comparison between those who hear His words and acts upon them and those who hear His words and don’t act upon them. The comparison is quite stark and, might I say, earth shattering for each of us. You see it’s one thing to hear the Word of God and quite another to act upon it. Once we hear it we are indicted in the courtroom of God’s justice. In other words, just hearing God’s Word is not the end, but living it completes our lives until the end. Jesus said that when we act upon His Word we will have a strong foundation that will enable us to handle all kinds of storms. He basically gives us a warning that storms will come and the wind will slam against us, but living His Word will equip us to stand strong in those tough times. I guess you could say He is taking the Bible Study and putting feet to it. If He says, “I will do this, if you do this.” then we should do it. If He makes a promise then the logical thing would be for us to act upon that promise in total faith. But it’s tough to do that because we want to “see” the end result before we “believe” His Word. When we back away from that total belief and don’t act upon His Word we start to try to reason things out in our reasoning and the foundation of that reasoning starts to show the weakness of it. Jesus calls this person a foolish man and shows us that the foundation built on our reasoning and the lack of action that accompanies that way of living will soon fall. In verse 27 Jesus says, “and great was its fall.”
I remember seeing the life story of a man who had built an empire on sound reasoning and wisdom. Over a period of time he began to let things slip a little at a time, and soon his great wealth turned into great debt. Why? Because he didn’t guard and keep focused on what got him there. We as believers have to watch out and make sure that we keep our lives focused on the One who gave us this hope and eternal life, Jesus. If we ever take our eyes off of Him and quit acting on His promises, our slide into obscurity will begin. Just as MacArthur’s prayer for his son is similar to what God wants for us. God wants us to live the abundant life He offers us and He wants us to “live it”, not just read about it. It can get quite scary at times though. I remember going rock climbing years ago and I started up a small crevice that went up about 70 feet. At the base of the climb I had to make a commitment to stay after it once I started, no turning back. About 30 feet up it got real tough and I wanted to back down, but I couldn’t safely. I remember looking up at the climb ahead and looking back at what I had climbed thus far and saying, “No turning back now. Onward and upward.” I made it through the tough part and climbed to the top and what a beautiful view. I looked back and saw what I had done and felt such a sense of accomplishment. It prepared me for other climbs because I had completed that one. Some Christians will never get the joy of building that strong foundation Jesus talks about because they never “act” on God’s Word, they just read it. Those people will always live in the House of Blues. The ones who act on God’s Word will do more and more for Him and live a full, abundant life that is built on the solid rock. They will be living big in the Hard Rock Cafe’! Which do you choose? Hard Rock Cafe’ or House of Blues? As Jesus said in verse 26, it would be foolish to choose the House of Blues. If you choose that you may get to the end of your life and think it was lived in vain, and you may be right. The point is you can choose today to learn and live on the solid rock and nothing will be able to stop you. That’s not me talking. That’s straight from the Word of God. The forms are set and ready for God’s concrete. All you need to do is say, “pour” and then step forward actively living your life on God’s Foundation. It’s gonna hold you up every time.
The Pilgrimage continues….