“Now may the God of peace [who is the Author and the Giver of peace]…strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will;”
Hebrews 13: 20-21, AMP
A friend of mine recently spoke to me about the idea of remodels and renovations. More specifically she said something to the effect of: Sometimes we need a spiritual renovation and sometimes we need a total gut-job. You, Patricia, are a total gut-job.
Well, there you go; there is nothing like a good friend to just lay it out there. So, I am a total gut-job – hmm. I have never really thought about adjustments in our souls in these terms and I have been pondering the information for a while.
We once owned an older home, close to a hundred years old. When I think of renovations and remodels, I think of this house. I originally loved the home because of its unique character. There is nothing like the character of an old Victorian-era home or a century-old farmhouse. Everything about the design of such a home speaks of the function of the home during the period it was built. For example, our old house did not have large closets because people of that time period did not have large wardrobes. The bedrooms were small and without heat because bedrooms were meant for sleeping not “hanging out”. If you were sleeping, you had blankets and did not need heat. If you were not sleeping, there was work to do and you had no need to be in the bedroom, so the size of the room didn’t matter. As long as it could fit a bed and a dresser, it was functional.
Dwelling for any length of time in an old home will bring you to a point of conflict – character versus function. While I loved the character of the house, it was not very functional. We liked heat in the bedrooms and our children wanted to “hang out” there. My biggest frustration of the home, however, was not the bedrooms; it was the bathroom. While the bathroom was functional, it did not have any time-period character, and it was aesthetically unpleasant. It needed a renovation. To renovate means to restore to good condition. It is synonymous with repair and upgrade. Yes, our bathroom needed some repairs and some upgrades. We did not change the floor plan or knock down walls. We changed out the tile, tub, and flooring. We upgraded the light fixture and applied a fresh coat of paint. We endured a few weeks of “construction dust” and inconvenience – try taking out the only full bath for a family of four. When we were finished, it was basically the same room; we had just increased the character and added some upgrades.
I suppose there are times when our souls [mind, will, emotions] need a renovation to bring us “up-to-date” with what God is doing and to prepare us for the next phase of our race. It’s kind of like when your child outgrows the train décor in his bedroom and he is now ready for something less childish. This requires a renovation: new paint, new bedding, new window coverings: something more appropriate for his level of maturity. When reach a certain place in our walk with God, He will need to fine-tune some things. He may bring us to a deeper understanding of spiritual concepts, like how much He loves us. Periodically, He will make corrections where we have developed misconceptions and He will present us with challenges designed to stretch us and help us grow. And while there may be some inconvenience and dust during this process, it generally moves along at a comfortable pace and with minimal pain and disruption.
But sometimes, sometimes, fresh paint is not enough. Sometimes what God desires to do in our lives requires a remodel, a gut-job. To remodel means to reconstruct or make over. It is synonymous with recreate or reassemble. The prefix re means to do it again. Consider how that applies to the word reassemble. To assemble something again, one would first have to take it apart. While my granddaughters can assemble a structure with Legos, they will never be able to reassemble those Legos unless they first take them apart. Or in the example of a home, in order to recreate a living space, it may be necessary to first un-create it, or take it apart.
After pondering what my friend said, I can agree that sometimes our souls need to be disassembled, and then reassembled in a different way. It’s like building a new structure with the same Legos or designing a new floor plan within the same house.
God is such a gentleman; He will never force us to let go of things we want to keep or to take down walls we want to remain standing. He will not make us close off entryways we want opened or open entryways we want closed. He never forces us. And while our souls may be entirely dysfunctional, He will allow us to keep our faulty mindsets, our ridiculous emotions, and our useless defense systems, if we want them. But, if we don’t, if we come to a place where we are willing to totally surrender to His will; if we will give up our wants and desires in favor of His; He will come in and remodel our souls. He will help us tear down walls that are problematic. He will help us close off entryways to the enemy. He will correct our mindsets, reprogram our emotions, and rip out our defense systems. He will replace the old and dysfunctional with something innovative and spectacular and the end result will be beyond anything we could have imagined.
But it will require a gut-job.
There will be dust and debris scattered about. There will be fatigue and frustration as we deal with reorganization. There will be bumps and bruises as we adjust to a different floor plan. And it will take time. And patience. And there will be tears – because an extensive remodel hurts. But there will be healing we did not think would be possible. And there will be new growth and new opportunities once only dreamt of. And every second of the process will be an adventure: an exciting, joy-filled, tear-stained, wonderful adventure. And the end result will be worth it!
If you find yourself in a place where you are a “gut-job,” congratulations! You are in the perfect position to undergo an amazing transformation in preparation for a Godly assignment. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and go for it! You can be sure that God knows what He is doing.
For it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight (Philippians 2:13 AMP).