Instead of a fixer-upper, it’s more like a faller-downer. I don’t want to live here, apparently neither does anyone else.
If this was my house I would never invite you over. In fact, when I know company is coming I usually light a vanilla scented candle and whiz through the house to make sure everything is spiffed up and put away. The stack of mail which permanently resides on the counter top is stuffed into a drawer. I don’t recommend it though, somehow I misplaced our passports. They must be in my house, but for the life of me I can’t recall where.
WOULD YOU LIVE HERE?
Before moving into a broken down house I would insist on a complete renovation. A total overhaul is a great idea if you are moving into an earthly home, but the idea simply doesn’t translate to the heart. Instead of hammers, nails and buckets of paint, I need a completely new heart. His Spirit in me enables me to follow Him. Trust me, I’ve tried diligently to do-it-myself. It never works.
Ezekiel 36:26-27, “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.” MSG
Solomon’s temple was one of the most magnificent structures ever constructed. Solomon looked at the splendor; the gold, silver and bronze, the display of intricate carvings and embroidery. He stood amazed, yet when it was dedicated he sincerely asked if a holy God would actually dwell in such a place.
2 Chronicles 6:18, “But will God indeed dwell with man on earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!” ESV
God did meet with His people in the earthly temple. As spectacular as it was, it was still unworthy. Then it was destroyed. God took up residence in a far less worthy location.
2 Corinthians 6:16, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they will be my people.'” NIV
I want Him to move in, but I want to stuff a few things in drawers first. I want to clean things up and put a shine on before He gets here. Maybe if I light a candle He won’t notice the stench of my sin. I would never want Him to move in as is. I need a major renovation of my heart. But that is ridiculous.
1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have from God, and you are not your own?” NKJV
Although I need a fresh start, I am incapable of accomplishing the needed repairs. Jesus has to move in first and do the work from the inside. He patiently waits to be invited into my mess. I typically exhaust my self-effort before I turn it over to Him. Change begins when I give Him complete access to my weaknesses and my strengths.
Galatians 3:3-5, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Did you suffer so much for nothing – if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?” HCSB
I cannot put a fresh coat of paint over rotten boards and expect my house to have more curb appeal. God works from within by His indwelling Spirit. He is not in the business of fixing up my heart, instead He tears down the old me and begins a new work.
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” ASV
Stop trying to clean up your own house. Break out of the cycle of self-defeat by inviting Him into your mess. It takes humility but only He can build a worthy place to dwell. And remember, He’s moved into some real dumps.
Even if you don’t struggle with anxiety or depression, if you sign up for my Prescriptions for Anxiety by entering your email address under the prescription pad, I’ll send some additional tidbits of encouragement from time to time.