Ever since we moved into our house, my wife wanted to renovate the living room. She hated it because it was dark and out dated. I fought her on the renovations because I liked the room and also because I knew what renovations would entail. I knew that once we started, it wouldn’t end with a simple paint job and floor change. Once we began, it would set off a chain of change for the foreseeable future and I wasn’t ready to do that. With the help of friends, she finally convinced me to let go of my fear and embrace the renovation. I saw in the process how God wants to renovate our lives.
God desires for each of us to undergo the process of renovation in our lives. He wants to take out old ways of thinking and replace them with the mind of Christ. He wants to remove the hard parts of our hearts and put in a heart of flesh. He wants to give us fresh insight into His Word, but we have to be willing to submit to the renovations. We have to quit fighting God on the changes He wants to make and allow Him to do His work. Psalm 51 is all about renovating David’s life. In verse 10, he surrendered and prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.” The first step of renovating your life is submission to God’s will and design.
The next part is counting the cost. In my living room, I allowed the cost to keep us from renovating. It was more than I was willing to pay because the outcome was unsure. Once I let go of the purse strings, the work began. The same is true in our personal renovation. We have to understand that there is a price to pay in renovating and we have to let go of the fear that keeps us from releasing God to do in our lives what He wants to do. It may cost us time, relationships, location or money, but in the end, we will receive more than we lost. Renovations in our lives increase our ability and usability.
The last thing I learned is that you have to be patient in the process. It wasn’t long into ours that my wife said, “We’ve made a mistake. We shouldn’t do any more. What if we keep going and lose a lot more money?” She was right. In the middle of the process, we lost sight of the vision. We questioned the renovation and almost gave up. We decided to see it through and love the outcome. In the Message, Philippians 1:6 says, “there is no doubt in my mind that God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish.” It might get messy and you might lose sight of what God is doing in your life, but be patient. God will complete the work in you and it will be more amazing than you can imagine and worth the cost.
I watch a lot of home improvement shows on the weekends. It seems my tuner is locked on HGTV when Saturday rolls around. I like watching how they transform spaces. Some require major work where they tear everything out and others are mainly painting and getting the right furniture in the right place. Before moving walls though, they always check to see if it is a load bearing wall. Some walls run perpendicular to the boards that hold up your roof and some run in the same line. If you take out the perpendicular ones (load bearing) that section of the roof can cave in.
When I think about my life, I’ve got a lot of walls up. I’ve got some in place to separate portions of my life from the other portions. I’ve got some up because I’ve been hurt and I don’t want that pain again. I’ve got some up where I hide all the junk I have in my life as well. Each of us have walls up in our lives whether we like to admit it or not. We build them to keep people and even God out of portions of our lives. We let them in certain rooms, but we don’t like yo let them into our junk closet.
Just like in a real house, some of those walls are load bearing and some are not. I’ve been thinking about what walls I’ve let God take down when He’s tried to do a remodel. I’ve given Him access to certain things and haven’t given Him permission to do others. I’ve let Him take out some of the non load bearing walls in my life. But like in a renovation, sometimes those walls have to come down in order to do what the master designer wants to do. The more permissions or access they grant the hosts on those TV shows, the greater the outcome of the renovation.
In my own life, I want the amazing transformation that renovation can bring. I want to be stunned when I open my eyes and see what God has done with my life. In order for that to happen, I’ve got to give Him permission to tear down my load bearing walls. I’ve got to give Him access to every part of my house. I can’t keep anything hidden from Him. Our walls really don’t keep God out of those areas of our life and He really doesn’t need our permission to do things in our lives. I’ve learned that it helps my attitude in the renovation when I give those things to Him. It prepares me for the changes that are coming.
What walls have you put up to keep others or God out? Have you only given Him permission to knock down the non load bearing walls? What kind of transformation or renovation would you like? The greater one you want, the greater permission you need to give to Him. Just like at the end of those shows where people drop to their knees in awe of what has been done to their house, God can make that kind of renovation with your life. He can move walls, take out the mold of sin, repurpose your past and create something beautiful out of your life if you let Him.