By Jadi Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Board of Director, FAITH RXD Houma Chapter Director and Chaplain.
When you are attacking this long AMRAP we really want you to think about Jesus’ warning about where you build your life. Have you been building on sand or on THE rock? This kind of workout often reveals what type of fitness foundation we really have. Ultimately, that does not really matter, but if we can have the same lens of perspective for when we go through trials in life, we can think during those times and ask, have I built my life on sand or on THE rock?
27 min AMRAP
7 power snatches
24 bar muscle-ups
7 clean and jerks
24 chest to bar pull-ups
Mathew 7:24-27 ESV
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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.”
I am often frustrated by the American church’s Jesus, or should I say, the Jesus the Western church has recently created. It simply is not a biblical Jesus. It is a Jesus out of balance that only talks about love, unicorns, and rainbows.
Fact is, in our reading today, Jesus asks a tough question, “Are you a fool?”
Jesus does not use the word “hope” in his parable. Then again, he calls himself the rock and does not reference himself. Yet that is precisely what Jesus is talking about here.
Where is your hope?
Is your hope in money? Is your hope in your spouse? Your job? Your friends?
For my professional athlete, is your hope in your fitness level? In your own abilities and capabilities?
Are you hoping in yourself?
What a dangerous world we live in, filled with self-help philosophies. You cannot go to a bookstore that is not littered with an entire section of this new religion. And sadly, it has infected our church. There is no shortage of false teachers out there selling you the false gospel of living your best life now. What makes this heresy even worse is that they use Jesus to sell it. Living your best life now with Jesus.
Same dream, different way to get there.
John Piper says it like this, “You are having the same meal, just changing the butler.”
The source of your joy, the thing you hang on to and hope for, is not Jesus. No, you come to Jesus for the same things you hung on to before you met Him.
Hoping in the same things differently, instead of hoping in the way.
That is a Christian fool. It is easy to read that story and think of our unbelieving friends and families. The ones who have rejected Jesus for their money, homes, cars, jobs, and other idols. Easy to say they are the ones Jesus says are the fools who build on sand. It is another thing entirely to now think of the Christian fool. The one who comes to church yet still hopes on the things of the world.
It is like the athlete who comes to the gym yet does not change their eating habits, or perhaps their sleeping habits. They hope to achieve health and fitness by changing nothing fundamentally other than how they work out.
Meanwhile, it is the athlete who falls in love with CrossFit that changes everything. They no longer chase the abs or physique but pursues better performance because they love going to the gym and feeling good. That pursuit leads to better eating habits, better hydration, and better sleeping patterns.
And what do you know? The physique follows! Not always, of course, but often enough, we obtain better results in life when we fall in love with the process instead of what the process may get us.
For us Christians, that process is called sanctification.
Romans 6: 1-4 ESV
“6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Let’s get practical!
What does hoping in Jesus look like? Exactly how does one build on the rock and not on the sand?
In short, you do as the word says. Scripture tells us over and over that the word of God is instructive. The problem is that our sinful flesh will not immediately desire the changes that the word asks us to make.
Like the choices you make about the music you listen to, the movies you watch.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Or how about cursing and the way you speak, or the jokes you tell and laugh at.
Ephesians 5:4, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
Or having sex before marriage, having a same-sex relationship, or watching pornography.
1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
What about going to church every Sunday?
Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
There are countless instructive verses in scripture. Many which are not easy to keep, even harder to desire. I can attest that I immediately wanted to go to church every Sunday when I returned to the faith. But now, some days, I do not look forward to it like I do today.
My friend Ian once told me, “Sundays are like your Superbowl, you get so pumped to go to church, and that’s awesome!”
Other instructions in scripture, such as keeping myself pure and no longer having sex before marriage, were much tougher for me. The desire to draw boundaries around that, to include other non sexual touch that pushed the boundaries of sex or could lead to sex, was much harder to desire.
Yet my wife and I abstained from sex until our wedding night. We did not touch one another in inappropriate ways, nor did we see one another naked at any point.
Keeping the word and its commandments, sometimes with very little desire to, hoping that it would be fruitful for our sanctification, is how we hope in Jesus. How we build our life on the rock.
Are you, as a Christian keeping a high view of scripture? Are you submitting yourself to its authority even when you do not like it? Sometimes just hoping that it will get easier? That it will change your life? Your heart’s desires?
Psalm 37-4 ESV
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
This is one of God’s most misunderstood promises. It does not mean that if you delight in Jesus, he will give you the house you want, the cars, the jobs, or the bank account you long for. Heck, it does not even mean he will provide you with the marriage and the family you want.
I know just how hard that last sentence hit, trust me, but stay with me.
What it means is that when you delight in Jesus, when you fall in love with Him and the process of sanctification, He is going to change your heart and the desires of your heart. You will begin to desire things that are holy and no longer find the fleeting pleasures of sin. Then He will abundantly and without restriction give you all the desires of your heart, for your heart desires Him.
What does your heart desire?
I’m not saying it is not OK to desire a wife or a husband. I am saying that if you desire or hope for one so that you may be fulfilled, instead of so that you may sanctify one another and glorify God, then you are missing the mark.
Hope for nothing else but His righteousness and His kingdom, then all these things shall be added on to you.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- What did you think of the question, “Are you a fool?”
- What have you been hoping in?
- In what ways were you challenged by in today’s message?