I have noticed a trend in television recently, primarily in home improvement programs. It seems as though everyone is suddenly incredibly interested in shows that feature people who buy terribly rundown homes and fix them up like new again. HGTV has launched six or seven of those programs over these past two years alone. And it’s honestly understandable. They are undeniably popular. For some reason restoring old homes just seems to strike a deep chord with all people. The worse off the homes are the more people want to see them transformed.
But there are always setbacks, and they are always devastating. Nothing is worse than when they tear down the walls and peel back the laminate only to discover that the foundation has been compromised. That some contractor along the way cut some corners and now the entire building needs to be rebuilt. You have to feel for those people because they have just lost their entire home in one foul swoop. Proper foundations are essential and, without them, everything around the building will give way to tragedy.
That is why it is so vital that we set a proper foundation before we start in on construction in our lives. Our foundation will frame our plans for going forward giving us guidance into where we should be building next. Paul begins his discussion of our building project by first warning us that “no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV)
Jesus is the foundation from which we all build. When we first accept Christ, we leave everything from the former life behind. Our aspirations, our achievements, our operations, and our occupations. We count it all as loss when compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. (Philippians 3:8) That is why so often, we are reduced to nothing before we come to Christ. He tears down all that we have built up around ourselves so that we might finally realize that everything apart from Him is not structurally sound. Those structures that we have erected over years of our lives were never more than a strong breeze away from collapsing. They were not safe, and they were not functional. We needed the True Foundation to come in and show us that.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
When we come to Christ, He tears down our walls and rips up our floorboards to reveal our false foundations, built on the shifting sands of this world. He knew that they were there long before He purchased us, and so, He will not be deterred by the mess we are underneath. He desires to transplant us from our current ground on the easily flooded shores of life to His perfectly laid, firm foundation. He will not just tear up our old foundation and then leave us for broke; He will substitute our falsehood with His truth and substance.
He will provide us with the manpower to not just hear and understand His word, but actually, carry it out. That is the beauty of turning our lives over to Him as our contractor. We no longer need to worry about DIY projects and spending hours just trying to repair some chipped paint. He brings in His experienced construction crew who will do the repairs for us. You don’t hire a contractor so that you can do all of the work; you hire a contractor so you can turn the entire project over to him. That is what we need to do. We need to turn over out entire project to Christ so He can repair our fractured foundations and prepare us for the work to come.
That is the first step on our way to constructing a solid building that will stand the Day of Judgement. If our building does not have a solid foundation rooted firmly in the truth of Christ, it does not matter how much or how high we build, it will all collapse in an instant when tested. He broke ground in His birth, laid the foundation in His life, and paid for it all in His death. I can not say it enough: Christ is substance, Christ is truth, He is firm, and we desperately need Him for everything in our crumbling lives. We need to accept the foundation that has been built for us and then be ready to start construction on the actual structure when directed by the Architect.
He is the Designer of all that we are. Scripture reminds us constantly that God made us and knows what is best for us.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
Psalms 139:13-16 NIV
He is the one that constructed the core of our beings, our every quirk, emotion, and thought. He designed the every breath of life that we breathe, so we can trust Him to design the foundation that will hold us firm through the storm. Trust His foundation and you will never be disappointed in that choice. Through the calm and through the storm—when all else crumbles—He will stand firm.
With the security we have in Christ,
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…”
Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV