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  • Neil Stokes

Renovation

Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2


The house next door to us had recently sold and the new owners just got in before the lockdown started. They are a husband and wife team who buy a house that needs updating, go in, and well, update it (they don’t live in the house, but technically they are ‘working from home’). They politely knocked on our door and mentioned that there would be a few weeks of banging and drilling going on, but not too early and not late.


After a few weeks of seeing them going in and out, and the obligatory drilling, banging, smashing and general destructive noises, we managed to chat to them (safe distancing was adhered to) over the garden wall. Apparently, what they thought would be a straightforward renovation has turned out to be a much bigger job than first anticipated. The renovation of the house has had to go deeper than expected.

From bodge jobs that have had a knock on effect to other areas, to damp in places that has taken years to creep deeper and deeper causing more unseen damage and walls that were only held together with nothing but a thin layer of plaster, the house had to be stripped back to what was basically a bare shell.


Even the roof is being completely replaced – everything in the house was bad.


From the outside and the inside, the house looked okay (yes, we had a sneaky look at the pictures when it was on Rightmove). There were a few patches of damp that could be seen, and things looked like they needed updating. Yet it wasn’t until someone was able to have a proper poke around that the true picture started to unravel.


Most people would have walked away, I’m sure. Our new neighbours are in the business of renovation, though, and were willing to take the risk.

That picture gives a great illustration of what God has done and continues to do in those that are willing to trust Him. He is this great renovator of broken things. He is a master at changing something from what it wasn’t designed to be into what it was meant for.


The house next door was designed for a purpose, yet over time owners have neglected it. Now new owners are willing to invest in complete renovation.


God wants to take your life and renovate you into something that is quite spectacular.

You might be saying at this point that there is nothing wrong with your life, that everything is going okay and you’re doing a good job at looking after this body you have. Well, yes, that may be, but the truth is that when all is said and done, we are rubbish ‘landlords’ to ourselves.


We allow the ‘damp’ of the world to seep into our body (mental, physical, spiritual) and cause unseen damage that we don’t realise is there. Over years there are things in our life that have caused damage yet goes unrecognised, that come out when we least expect it, that are of no use. Jealousy, anger, lust, hate, peace, trust…the list goes on.


My question today is, will you allow the One who created you access into the deepest part of you to renovate you? My own experience is one that when we think things are okay and we have dealt with an issue, God, when allowed access, deals with it better than we could ever have hoped.


That’s the point. Creator God wants to restore us back to what we were intended for. The fact is, He was willing to invest in us through the sacrifice of His Son, to take on all those things that are not good (what we call sin), and give us the opportunity to step into a new life, to become a new creation, to be renewed from the outside in.


He didn’t walk away, He won’t walk away – in fact, we are told that it was for joy that Jesus endured the cross. That is how much He loves us!



God will take all of that stuff that has been causing unseen (and seen) damage over years of neglect, take a hold of them, and throw them in the skip. He will then make new by replacing with the absolute best He has to offer (none of this B&Q nonsense) – His Spirit.

So, instead of filling yourself with ‘stuff’ that harms, fill yourself with the good stuff.


God’s Word. Prayer. Worship.


Philippians 4:8 says this

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Right, enough from me, I’m off to turn the telly up over all this banging and drilling.

Neil

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