Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright was challenged to build the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo–one of the most earthquake-prone cities in the world. As Wright explored the site, he discovered that a solid foundation could be “floated” on a sixty-foot layer of soft mud underneath the hotel, which would provide shock-absorbing yet solid support for the massive building. Shortly after the building was completed, it stood through the worst earthquake in fifty-two years–while many buildings around it fell.
What’s so important about the foundation?
Everything builds on top of the foundation. If the foundation is solid, what is built on top has a better chance of turning out right. A solid foundation is able to support the weight of the building itself, along with any additional stressors like people, furnishings and more. It provides a solid anchor for the building, keeping it stable and secure–but without a solid foundation, the building will eventually fall.
Your life is a lot like a building.
I know it sounds strange, but stick with me. You see, your life is being built on something. In fact, Jesus talks about this very idea in the Gospel of Luke:
“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49 (NLT)
Everyone’s life has a foundation, but not all foundations are equal.
Everyone puts their hope and trust in something–and what we put our hope and trust in becomes our foundation for life. Some people build their lives on the foundation of money, believing that if they have more money, life will be better and more secure. Some people build their lives on possessions, trusting that more stuff means more happiness. Lots of people build their lives on popularity, thinking that if they can get more friends, they will never be on their own and life will be great.
These are just a few examples. The truth is, you can build your life on any number of things: fame, grades, sex, athletics, music, drugs and alcohol, beauty, video games, shopping, texting and…well, you get the picture.
Give this question some thought: what are you building your life on?
Not all of those things we listed are bad–but every one of them is temporary. When the storms of life come (and they will come), those things…well, they can all go away. And here’s the thing: if your life is built on any of these temporary things, what happens when the foundation doesn’t last?
So again, we have to ask: what are you building your life on?
We are called to build our lives on the rock–and that rock is Jesus. Sometimes we think life will be perfect when we are following Christ, but make no mistake: storms will still come while following Jesus! In John 16:33 (NLT), Jesus told His disciples, “Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” That’s what happened in the story, right? The storm came, but the house stood firm, because it was built on a firm foundation.
But what does it look like to build on the rock?
Jesus said in the Luke 6 text that building your house on the rock means coming to Jesus, listening to His teaching and then following it (Luke 6:47). The relationship has already been established–you have been claimed as God’s child in the waters of Baptism! The next step is learning what God’s Word says. Put yourself into positions where you will hear God’s Word: worship, personal devotions and group Bible studies. Pray for understanding and wisdom as you seek to put God’s Word into practice. Then, as you hear the Word, look for ways to live it out in your life.
The storms will come. But when you are building your life on the foundation of Christ, those storms are a lot less intimidating. You may get hurt, but your foundation will stand firm. Take heart as you learn what it means to build your life on Christ!
Put it into Practice:

Write down one goal for this week that will help you build on the foundation that is Christ. Maybe it is praying for 2 minutes a day, or spending 15 minutes in God’s Word. It could be something else entirely. The point is to either start or continue building your life on the foundation of Christ this week. Once you’ve set your goal, develop a plan to accomplish it.