So, here’s an idea, do a post on election day that’s NOT about voting as a Christian!
The thing is, with all junk on the telly recently, (especially the ‘reality’ T.V. shows) Alycia and I have found ourselves watching a lot of those house flipping shows on channel 94. I am starting to enjoy these shows a little more than I’d like to admit. We’ve also discovered that we would make an amazing ‘reno couple’, well in terms of design anyway.
It’s interesting to see these dilapidated houses get transformed into amazing homes and the various things that have to happen before the finished product emerges. One thing above all else has occurred to me about renovation on any scale:
Things have to get worse before they get better.
I believe that this just as much the case when God decides to renovate a human heart. How does God renovate and remodel a heart? Through faith-driven obedience.
Obedience is the difference between a ‘flip’ or a ‘flop’ of a life.
Many have thier favorite passages in scripture. For many of us Proverbs 3:5-6 is legendary:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Here’s why this passage is so important and offers such a sanctuary of comfort if you are in the situation of a God driven ‘heart reno’ and you feel like you’ve just had a major wall smashed out, wondering if it might have been all worth it or not: it gives us the permission to tell our deceitful heart to shut up.
It is so refreshing to realize how limited, underdeveloped and fallen our own perception really is. Truth is not found in feelings, it is found in the Scriptures. God allows us the wrestle, the battle even, with our own heart and conscience in order to draw us to his Word, because we often don’t get into God’s word until we find ourselves with no other choice.
It reminds us that if we can somehow ‘step out on the waters’ and trust him with absolutely everything; especially when things look 10 times worse than when we started out on the journey, sooner or later God will bring peace.
I can’t say what form that peace will take, be it a resolution to something or simply the peace to be able to walk with it, but it is coming.
Actually, there is one way in which we know for sure it will take shape. Even if nothing resolves in this life, we’re not living for this life but eternity. No matter how much a struggle things are in the here and now, it’s worth it (and only worth it) because we can know that one day we’ll be able to exhausted, fall into the arms of Jesus himself, and enjoy eternal rest.
This life is but a blip on eternity’s radar.
Back to these dilapidated houses. Yes, things get worse before they get better, but the reality is, it would have gotten worse anyway. Who keeps a house that’s falling apart? No one, that’s why there’s such a thing a demolition.
We’ve really only got one choice in this life; renovation or eventual demolition and I find it so encouraging to know, that the very reason why the renovation of my heart is sometimes so painful is also the evidence that I have been saved from it’s demolition.
If you’re finding the reno really painful right now, be encouraged; you’re being saved from demolition.
Proverbs doesn’t say that God will make our path flat. It doesn’t say that he’ll make our path easy. It doesn’t say he line our path with great views and it doesn’t say he’ll make our path short. It say’s he’ll make our path straight.
Straight into his arms.
In an age that defines the best life as one of ultimate luxury/ease, the Bible defines the best life as one of ultimate discovery. But what discovery ever came without a struggle?
And a commitment is never a commitment unless it is committed in the midst of being sorely tested.
The relationship of faith and obedience is this: we follow God’s Word in every sphere of life because we believe that he knows what’s best, especially when it seems unreasonable even ridiculous to us.
And faith always wins, because faith ultimately comes from God.
Isn’t that great news?
With each trembling step of obedience, our hearts are being remade into something beautiful.
So keep going.