There is a principle to be learned in this parable of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27:
“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 winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had it’s foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (NIV).
The principle to be learned in this parable is that without the right foundation, a structure cannot stand. If you build on the sand, which shifts and washes away when the storms rise, your house will not stand. It is only upon a solid foundation that a house can stand. And it is only upon a solid foundation that a person, family or a nation can build and be secure.
Since the dawn of civilization, family has been the cornerstone and foundation on which all things are built. But over the years, we have watched the family structure erode and unravel to the point where even our legislators and judges are redefining the meaning of family and marriage.
Fatherlessness abounds. Divorce rates are skyrocketing, Alternative lifestyles are becoming normalized. What was once a solid foundation in this nation is now shifting on eroding sand of self preferences, rather than the immovable and unshakable foundations that cannot be shaken referred to in Hebrews chapter 12. The result is a culture that lies in great danger for the storms ahead.
In the days leading up to Hurricane Ike, local officials warned residents along the Texas southeast Gulf Coast of the magnitude of the storm that was coming. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for coastal communities. Many residents heeded the warnings while others did not.
Thinking that they could ride out the storm, some decided to stay in their homes near the rising waters. The day before Hurricane Ike made landfall, the storm surge began rising significantly and many areas flooded hours before the storm hit. This early flooding may have proved to be the mercy of God, as in many cases, rescuers were able to to be deployed and airlift people into safety. But, many did not get out before Ike hit and they lost everything, some even their very lives.
When I first published the book The Fatherless Generation, a book on the state of the nation, the church and the generation in 1994, I knew the book was a prophetic wake-up call and warning. Like many other leaders who began issuing wake-up calls in our nation, I could see the writing on the wall. A generation was in crisis, resulting in a massive destabilization of our society.
But, just like during with Hurricane Ike and so many other storms, many have ignored the warnings. The wake-up calls have come in increasing measure, yet many of us continue to push our snooze buttons. We are being battered by the winds and waves that continue to erode our moral foundations.
Today, a whole new generation is emerging without a proper foundation to build upon for the future. They are a generation on shifting sand and our national house is in danger of falling. When the storms come—be it economic storms, spiritual storms or natural disasters—the structure will come tumbling down if we don’t recognize our cracked foundations.
Several years ago, while attending the Congressional Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., I was honored and humbled by an invitation to participate in the taping of two made-for-TV specials on The Soul of America by the late Dr. Bill Bright. The other guests were Max Lucado and the late Chuck Colson.
As we began the tapings on the Soul of America, I realized and emphasized that we cannot change the soul of our nation if the heart is sick. I believe the heart of any community or nation should be the church. But if the heart is sick how can we positively influence the soul of the community or nation?
The church needs a heart awakening if we are going bring life and hope to the land. If we are to be “salty” Christians as Jesus teaches, then we must not lose heart (or flavor). Like salt, we should be used as the flavor, preserver & medicinal element in our cities and nation. We cannot make lasting change unless, we first deal with our own root issues of the heart.
In the days of King Josiah and his reforms in 622 B.C., though he sought to legislate moral laws, he recognized that these laws cannot last without first the change of heart. Likewise, today, we need to recognize that we must continue to raise a banner of truth and righteousness with moral bearings, but it must first start in the heart of us as individuals returning to our first love, to a solid foundation that is unshakable, then as the corporate heart of the nation with a church awakening.
It’s time to quit pushing the snooze button and arise from our sleep.
Doug Stringer is the founder and president of Somebody Cares America/International. You can find him online at DougStringer.com.