BUILDING ON THE SAND OR ROCK FOUNDATION
Have you ever noticed how many people in the various congregations you have been a part of don’t seem to grow in spiritual matters over the years? They don’t increase in the use of their faith, they don’t grow in their understanding of the ways of God, They don’t seem to get most of their prayers answered, they don’t lead anyone into a relationship with the Lord, they don’t know how to make a disciple or they are not doing it, they continually struggle with their ability to overcome spiritual battles, they fill their minds with garbage on TV or the movies or the materials they read, etc.
This article is especially important because it shows you why the people of God seem not to grow up in their walk with God, but simply stay the same year after year.
I attribute most of this problem to the pastors and their inability to perform the tasks a scriptural pastor should which is not preaching, but “equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry”.
MATTHEW 7:24-29 — “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and ACTS upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.’ And the result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as their scribes.”
JAMES 1:22 — “But prove yourselves DOERS of the word, not just hearers who delude themselves.”
Jesus did not teach like the Scribes, He did not come to deliver speeches, but to make disciples and then He gave us the same commission as His ambassadors. He did not say “Go and deliver speeches,” but, “Go and MAKE DISCIPLES.”
It isn’t by hearing that someone learns, it is through PRACTICE.
Suppose that a piano teacher would use the same system of teaching that the church uses. He would have a big hall with pews and from 150 to 500 students sitting to hear a lesson. The teacher would have a large grand piano on the platform and he would play the piano so that the student could hear him. At the end of the lesson everyone would be saying, “What a beautiful lesson! Wasn’t the lesson great?” And then the students would come every Sunday morning and evening and one day during the week to hear another lesson. Thirty years could go by this way and yet nobody would be able to play the piano, because it isn’t by hearing that one learns but through PRACTICE. The church is the only institution that uses a non-functioning learning system. That is to say, THE HEARING ONLY SYSTEM.
This system of learning keeps the people of God in a perpetual state of non-functioning spiritual children. They do not grow to spiritual maturity because they have a head full of information, but no practical experience. For example, how many of you reading this communique’ have ever been trained to cast out a demon, or to heal the sick, or to disciple a new believer, or to go lead a hard-core sinner to Jesus, or to use your faith to receive from God, or to be overwhelmingly more than a conqueror, or to train others to do the same, etc?
Jesus said that if we hear His words and don’t DO THEM we are building our lives on a weak sand foundation that will erode when the hard times come against us. But if we hear His words and PRACTICE DOING THEM we will be building our lives on a solid rock foundation that will stand when the storms of life come against us.
The entire goal of a person who teaches is to get the student to do what is being taught. If there is no doing, then there is no real learning and the teacher has no real authority in the life of the student. Remember when you went to school to learn math? The teacher showed you how to do the problems, but then gave “homework” so you had to “practice” the process for solving the math problems. This is how you learned. If you ever played football you had to practice the plays all week before you actually got into the game. Why do we think learning to live in the kingdom of God is any different?
The way discipleship really works is when a person is being discipled they give authority to the person doing the discipling. This is the concept of submission. I submit to my discipler because they now have authority in my life to give me commands or instructions TO DO certain things so that I will actually learn how to do them through practice. If I refuse to do the lessons I am being given then I will not learn and the discipler will not go on to the next lesson. This is the way Jesus taught His disciples.
He taught them by giving them commands to do certain things in order to learn the lessons He was trying to teach them. Jesus required OBEDIENCE so that His disciples could be trained and learn the ways of the kingdom. For example, “Zacchaeus, come down, hurry up” was a command. It was an order, not a speech. “Matthew, follow Me, etc.” “Go to a certain city; greet the people in such a way; preach thusly; don’t take any money with you; don’t charge money for healing; don’t go to the Gentiles, yet”; go find Me a donkey; etc. All of these were commands that had to be obeyed.
James said that if we hear and don’t do, then we are deceiving ourselves. We think we know more than we actually do because we have no practical experience.
This is why Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. Discipleship is the venue for people to be able to practice what they are learning and then go and perform this same process with others. Remember, Paul taught Timothy, Timothy was to teach faithful men, and the faithful men were to teach others. This is multiplying effect of discipleship.
Who is discipling you by equipping you to do the work of the ministry of reconciliation? If no one is, then go to your pastor and ask him to either disciple you or assign someone he has discipled to equip you. This is actually the primary ministry of a pastor according to EPHESIANS 4:11-16.