I’ve been thinking of renovation a lot recently. As I write this, I am setting at an old desk in the church basement while I hear hammering and power tool noises coming from the area of my old study. Our addition to the church is progressing right along, but has brought a number of challenges with it. This building was erected in 1896, and then added on to in the 50’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. It’s interesting what gets uncovered as walls are torn apart! I am dealing with a smaller, but similar project at home as I am remodeling the downstairs bathroom in our 130 year old house. Supports in the basement needed replaced, the entire drainage system for our house needed redone, and leaning walls and sagging floors have to be dealt with. This is all complicated by the reality that some repairs done in the past added as many problems as they solved.
The ongoing work on my soul bears many similarities. Some things are not right and need repaired. Some things don’t look like the original plan at all. Some attempts at repair in the past were no more than coverings to make things look better without really fixing the underlying problems. Some problems were so hidden that they didn’t even appear until other things were being worked on (Just like my wall studs being 2″ out of plumb in 6′. They had been covered up and were hidden from view). The lord and I have much work yet to accomplish.
All three of these renovations have to follow a similar process: 1) There needs to be a plan that details what the end product will look like; 2) There needs to be some demolition work done – some things have to be torn out before the new can be built; 3) Repairs of existing things need to be made – the demolition exposes things that need further work; 4) There needs to be new construction – It is not enough just to tear out the old. Something better is to be built in it’s place.
Think of how that pattern fits in your life. Do you know what you are supposed to look like when God is finished with you? Romans 8:29 tells us that God planned that we would look like His Son – that is the plan. As you look at your life what things need to be destroyed? It may be overt sin that needs to be dealt with, but it also may be what Hebrews 12:1 refers to as weight – stuff that just gets in the way and slows us down. Are you, along with David, asking the Lord to search your heart to see if there is a wicked way in it? Hidden things need exposed and repaired if the project is ever going to be right. It could be that some past “repairs” were just cover-ups and the problems now need to be fixed correctly. Are you building new? We are supposed to be growing and being built up. The goal is not to maintain, but to grow and be “built up” in Christ.
Renovation is messy, but putting it off never makes it better. Join me in asking our Maker to remake us in His image!