I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper. For those of you that may not be familiar, Fixer Upper is a show about home remodeling - and so much more. Coupled with the main storylines, the incredible duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines have captured the hearts of many, drawing over 25 million viewers this past season.
In a culture so inundated with content and information, why has this show become so popular? Apart from the amazing strengths of a relatable and real couple, I personally connected to the Gaines' Christ-centered journey (take a listen to Joanna sharing a bit of their story in the short video below). For Joanna, it started first with God, His purpose and His calling, and building on a solid foundation that would not fail.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 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. 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. 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” (Matthew 7:24-27).
1. With hearing comes a call to action.
In Matthew 7, Jesus explains that it is the wise man who hears the Word of God and in turn, puts it into practice. In the story of Fixer Upper, we see Joanna Gaines not only hear the words from God, but also respond to that call with action, seeking Him in building a business that now reaches millions of people. Through her application of what was heard, in both word and deed, God has grown immense Christ-centered influence. What is something that God is speaking to you? What might be a word that you have heard over the past 19 weeks of the ELI journey? And, what has been your response?
2. We can only build as big and strong as our foundation.
As experts in remodeling less than ideal homes, the Gaines know that the foundation is critical to the success of the house. What it's made from, how well it's weathered the storms, and if it's stable enough to build upon. In these verses Jesus speaks to two types of foundations: sand and rock. In the Fixer Upper's story, we see not only homes built on solid foundations, but a business built on the foundation of God. With such a God-sized purpose and a grounding in action as their foundation, it's not hard to see why their show has thrived. Are you building on a foundation of hearing and putting into practice? When the last rains fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against your house, what happened?
I would challenge us all to consider what it means to be a wise builder. Whether we are building our own business or building into our current companies, we must be building on big and strong foundations as both hearers and doers of the Word (James 1:22). In seeking to live out our purposes and strengths, we do so not in our own abilities, but rooted in Christ and on our solid rock. "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (Psalm 18:2). As we put the transformational leadership practices of Jesus into action each week and respond to what we hear, we are working towards a foundation that will not fail!