Are You Building on the Rock?

Fifty questions to ask ourselves whether we are living a life of obedience to Christ.

Are You Building on the Rock?
Photo by Karl Magnuson / Unsplash

As the Lord Jesus ended His greatest sermon, He concluded by warning us that merely having heard this sermon means nothing and only obeying Him would make any difference. For it is the one who hears and obeys who is like the one building his house on the rock. In keeping with Jesus' warning, let us take stock of our personal and church life to see whether we are truly obeying the Lord.

Here are fifty questions we can ask ourselves for measuring our obedience. Don’t forget the underlying question in all these fifty questions is: are we merely hearing God's word or are we hearing and obeying? In all these fifty matters, remember we cannot be neutral, we are either building on the rock or we are foolishly building on the sand. A day is coming, when the storms and the floods and the rains will come and expose the true quality and nature of our Christian life. Beware of that day and be taken up with obedience today.

So let us reflect on our personal lives and ask whether we are merely hearing the word or are we hearing and obeying (Matthew 7:24-27). In our church life, let us reflect on how we are in our corporate obedience to the Lord of the church. Be it any church that Paul the apostle appraised, he consistently commended them for two cardinal virtues - faith in the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints. How is our church when we consider these two virtues? Let us ask ourselves.

  1. Do you have a personal devotional life in the Word?
  2. Do you pray at a set time daily to seek the face of the Lord?
  3. Do you seek Him with earnest desire?
  4. Are you burdened for His will to be done in your life?
  5. Do you wait before Him to hear His counsel, His wisdom, and His word to you?
  6. Do you hear His voice regularly?
  7. What promises is He giving you this season to cling onto and trust with all your heart?
  8. What are the commandments He is calling you to obey with all your heart?
  9. Which are the sins you are fighting now with intentionality of heart?
  10. Are you always seeking to be filled with the Spirit and conduct all your Christian life in the fullness of the Spirit?
  11. Is there a deeper yearning for the presence of God?
  12. As the Spirit fills you, is there a new vigour and vitality in your seeking after God?
  13. With the help of the Spirit as you study His word, are you finding your heart increasingly fascinated with the beauty and glory of Jesus that everything else is increasingly becoming shallow in your eyes?
  14. Is Jesus increasingly becoming your preoccupation in life - Your one love, true Treasure, and Bridegroom Beloved?
  15. Constrained by His love, are you making costly obedience to Him?
  16. Are you willing to make costly confession of sins to Him and people; costly reconciliation and forgiveness of those who have hurt you; a costly humbling of yourself before adverse circumstances and people; costly and risky trusting in His sovereign promises - all out of your confidence in the great love of Christ for you?
  17. How is your relationship with the world these days?
  18. Are you increasingly finding the sensuality and pride of the world empty, banal, trivial, and rubbish?
  19. Are you shutting down more and more avenues by which the world is trying to amuse you away from Jesus - be it tv, the internet, movies, sports, or social media?
  20. Are you pure in your thoughts, words, and deeds?
  21. Could Jesus look at your internet browsing history?
  22. Are you chaste in your life?
  23. Do you have a testimony before God that you are free from internet pornography and all its associated sexual sins and habits?
  24. Husbands, are you faithful to your wives?
  25. Wives, are you chaste in all your behaviour?
  26. In your dealings with money, are you free from greed?
  27. Could Jesus approve your financial dealings?
  28. Are you trusting in Jesus or in your wealth?
  29. Are you wise enough to save than spend it all away on your desires?
  30. Are you kind enough to generously share with those in need-whomever the Lord brings in your path?
  31. Is our church known for her faith in the Lord Jesus?
  32. Are we facing everything with faith in Christ?
  33. Is He our sole foundation and refuge?
  34. Is He the one motivation for all we do in church?
  35. Is His glory the only goal for all we are and do as His church?
  36. Are we collectively enduring trials and suffering by faith alone?
  37. Or are we serving Him only at our convenience?
  38. Are all our gatherings and ministries aimed at strengthening and deepening our faith in Christ?
  39. How much does our church prioritise loving one another?
  40. Do we genuinely love everyone in the church?
  41. Do we personally intercede for others, not just in the prayer meeting, but in private?
  42. Do we have time to meet, hear, bear, and encourage others in the church?
  43. Are we willing to make costly sacrifices for the needy in our midst?
  44. Do we have time, effort, money, and words of encouragement for others, only if it does not inconvenience us in any way?
  45. Do we consider others as more important so much so that we are willing to give up our rights, be silent and let them talk, not argue with them, but try to listen and understand them better lest we misrepresent them?
  46. Are we being cleansed by this genuine brotherly love from all ego, arrogance, conceit, and insecurities regarding our self-importance and other deeds of the flesh?
  47. Are we peacemakers who value our relationship with the brethren more important than being right in an argument?
  48. Are we avoiding being our brother’s keeper with lame excuses like we are so busy when we have all the time for our family's needs however hectic our personal schedule be?
  49. Are we associating only with a few favourites in the church or do we know and care for all, especially the weakest, the loneliest, and the poorest?
  50. Are we careful to not grieve the Spirit by not holding bitterness, anger, and slander against one another?

The Lord expects us to not only know these things but obey them. When will we take obedience seriously in the church? When will we stop patting our backs for good sermons merely preached in our midst? Simply being able to say "the word ministry was good" means nothing to Heaven. Are we obeying? Are we building on the rock? Churches which persist in disobedience never grow. Do as much evangelism as you want, the Lord will not add a single soul to such a church. It’s not our efforts to grow in numbers, it’s our obedience to be Christ-like in our shepherding, mutual love and care for one another that the Lord is looking to bless a church.

How shall we respond then? One word: Repent.

  1. Let us repent of our false priorities and elevate obedience above all as our primary response to the Word of God.
  2. Let us repent of acting like we are spiritual simply because we hear good sermons. Let us evaluate ourselves only in light of our actual obedience.
  3. Let us repent of building on the sand, that cheap but immediately visible external form of godliness lacking the inner power of the Spirit - all the mere external decorum, discipline, show off, acting, all that hypocrisy, and rather, be sincere and real before God manifesting authentic godliness.

Let us build on the rock, offering our sincere obedience to all that the Lord speaks to us. Let us love our Lord Jesus sincerely. Let us keep in mind, He is more interested in reviving us than we are. For a bruised reed He does not break and a faintly glowing wick, He does not quench. With whatever little life we have, if we go to Him, He will faithfully fan it into flame. For His own sake, may He revive us. Amen.