Why You Need to Start Digging Deep


Two metaphorical men. Two construction methodologies. One builds on the rock, and the other builds on the sand. One house stands firm. The flood rains quickly sweep away the other. One home is preserved. The other is totally destroyed.

Jesus gave us this allegory in the book of Luke, and we’ve done a wonderful job of bungling it.

We take it and run straight down the easiest hermeneutical road we can find. It’s about salvation, everyone says. It teaches that if you’re born again—if you’ve built your house upon the Rock, then your house will weather the storm, everyone says. If you’ve never trusted in Jesus but you’ve decided to build your spiritual house without a foundation, you’re basically living in a mobile home smack dab in the middle of tornado alley. That’s what they say.

And those explanations sound nice on the surface, but if we look closer at what Jesus actually said, it’s easy to realize that that application is slightly off-base. The harm in that is that truth misapplied ceases to be true.

Here’s what you’ve probably never heard before. Here’s why building your house on the rock doesn’t directly speak of the moment you trusted Christ.

First, if we look back to where our Lord began His discourse we find he had a target audience in mind when speaking. That day he spoke to His disciples. He didn’t speak to the Pharisees and the Saducees. He wasn’t speaking to a group of unbelievers. The Bible says, “…he lifted up his eyes on his disciples…” (Luke 6:20) A little later he says, “I say unto which hear…” (verse 27). Having ears to hear is always related to people who have determined to follow Jesus. Even further along he tells them to be merciful as their Father is also merciful. (v. 36) Only disciples of the Lord Jesus have a heavenly Father. Jesus told his enemies—those that rejected and despised Him that they were of their father, the devil.

All of that rolled together tells me that Jesus was talking to people who had a relationship with Him.

Secondly, we should consider the reason for this particular metaphor—to encourage His disciples to obediently follow Him. Why else would He bring up the fact that they called him Lord but didn’t do what He commanded them to do? He calls them disciples. He knows they are His followers. He recognizes their outward desire to be His students, and He chastises them for their lack of discipleship—going as far as warning them of what would happen if they didn’t work harder to be more obedient. That’s right. He told them that they needed to work harder.

Jesus told his disciples to dig deeper. He told them to put in more effort. He pleaded with them not to take the easy way out. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep…”

172/365 - Digging a hole

Adam Bindslev via Compfight

Now, stop an think about it. We don’t work for our salvation. We don’t have to dig to uncover the rock if we want to be saved. That’s not the way that it works, but Jesus said that we needed to dig deeper, right? So Jesus wasn’t inviting people to come and trust Him as the Savior. He couldn’t have been doing that. We know that salvation is not something that one gains through works of righteousness. We don’t have to try harder to gain eternal life. It’s freely given. We are saved by grace through faith. Not by spiritual digging.

So what can we learn from this passage of Scripture? Other than the fact that Christ was not dealing with salvation here, what should we take away? At least two things.

  • Obedience guarantees safety. If we come to Jesus, hear His words and do what He says, we will always be safe in the storm. Always. That’s not to say that there won’t be storms. But, when the storms come, we will be safe. That’s the funny thing about obedience. It relieves us of any further responsibility. Once we follow—once we obey, the burden now shifts to our Lord to take care of us. Verse forty-eight of Luke six says that the first man’s house couldn’t be shaken by the rain and the wind. Not that it wasn’t, but that it couldn’t. Instability was an impossibility. All credit goes to the solid foundation upon which the house was built. The rock is the Lord. The foundation that we build is obedience. It’s being a real disciple. The opposite is also true. If we hear the words of Jesus and refuse to follow them, we are completely exposed to whatever dangers may arise. God’s never obligated Himself to care for those who practice disobedience. That’s on us if we go down that road. When we choose to disobey, we have no foundation. Our house will definitely be destroyed and it will be our fault without question. Without a foundation the ruin will be great.
  • Following Jesus is not the easiest thing to do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Jesus says that following Him is like hard work. It’s digging deep. It’s laying a foundation. We’re taking heavy spiritual lifting. It’s something that takes time and effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is your spiritual house. In other words, neither is the Christian life that determines to follow Jesus. The decision to follow Jesus is an easy one. The execution of it will be more difficult. You’ll be tested. You’ll have setbacks and challenges. Rest assured though, following Jesus gives you a firm foundation that can’t be shaken. Hard work pays off.

So, it’s time to dig deep. To get past that fallow ground. If we intend to build this spiritual house, we better start working on our callouses. It’s not going to build itself and there’s only one way to build a structure this important.

It’s time to start digging deep. It’s time to go further than we’ve ever gone before—beyond the superficial. Beyond average. Deeper than ordinary. It’s time to stop being ridiculous and saying Lord, Lord while doing whatever we please. That’s what most people do. That’s average and basic. That’s Laodicean. It’s the twenty-first century Americanized gospel. Saying one thing and doing the other.

Today’s standard of holiness is based on the lowest common denominator. We want to be more like the guy sitting next to us on the pew than the guy who died for us on the cross. We sing more about Jesus would I know, more of His grace to others show, but the knowing and showing have little to do with Jesus and grace and a whole lot to do with me and mine.

You’ve got a choice. I’ve got the same one. We can either stop saying Lord, Lord and keep building without any foundation or we can keep submitting to Christ and pick up our shovels. What we can no longer do is give some weak and tired lip service while we construct an ever-shifting shanty town of our will. The twisted two-by-fours of disobedience hammered together with the ten penny nails of selfishness always crumble with the first summer shower.

It doesn’t matter how many times that we cry out to God if we have no foundation. That’s our responsibility—to dig and to dig deep. It’s our responsibility to build on the Rock.

About the Author

Michael Andrzejewski

Michael Andrzejewski is a missionary in western Europe who loves to share his stories. An introvert by nature, he swims upstream while struggling to pastor cross-culturally. Passionate about both the Gospel and football, he constantly searches for really good sushi.