About 20 months ago, my husband David and I bought a little “fixer-upper” house in the mountains. We hope to transform it into a getaway place where we can rest and be restored. Last weekend, David, I, our daughter Emily, and David’s friend Greg went up to the house to do some major demolition so we could proceed with the renovation of the house. As the splintered wood and debris went on the fire, I couldn’t help but remember what the Lord tells us about the renovation process and how important it is to Him.
Have the right foundation
Part of this old house was falling off on one side. Before we bought it, David took a good look at it, he realized the foundation needed to be replaced. We both knew that was the first job to be completed. If the foundation isn’t right, a house won’t stand.
It’s the same with our personal lives. There’s only one foundation that stands the test of time: Jesus Christ. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11, NASB).
A foundation, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a usually stone or concrete structure that supports a building from underneath.” When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are undergirded by a foundation that will never fail us. When we place our faith in the fact that He paid the penalty for our sins on the cross and receive that free gift from Him, we have Him as the foundation of our lives, and no one can snatch us from His hand (John 10:29). We have the promise of abundant life now (with Him) and eternal life in the future (with Him).
Part of that foundation involves entrusting our entire lives to Him—not just admitting our sins and receiving the gift of His salvation, but also choosing to live for Him now and doing what He says (2 Corinthians 5:15, Galatians 2:20). He knows what’s best for us, and when we love and trust Him and do what He says, we have a solid foundation on which to build our lives.
Jesus asks, “‘Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great’” (Luke 6:46-49, NASB).
The world offers a lot of philosophies and advice about how to live and how to secure eternal life with God, but Jesus is the only sure foundation and the only way to the Father and abundant, eternal life (John 3:16; 10:10; 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14).
Secure and listen to the right overseer
Before we began our renovation project, we researched contractors in the area. We wanted a reliable and reputable contractor to oversee the construction. We finally settled on an honest, hard-working man, who has directed all the building activities.
In the same way, as Christians, we are given an overseer for our lives. He is the Holy Spirit, and He helps us build our house of faith. He tells us the materials to use and how to renovate our lives to be more like Christ (Romans 8:29). He’s there to help us, but we have to listen to Him. Galatians 5:16, NASB, says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” We are instructed to give the Holy Spirit complete control of the building project that is our life (Ephesians 5:18). If we listen to any other “contractor,” we’re destined for trouble. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1, NASB).
We already have the Holy Spirit if we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Ephesians 1:13-14). Imagine having the best house builder in the world and not listening to Him and instead trying to build by ourselves without any direction. We do that when we grieve and quench the Spirit by ignoring Him and not experiencing God’s best plans for our lives (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). We have been given the Holy Spirit so that He could help us build the best lives possible (John 7:38-39), lives that have an impact for God’s kingdom.
Build the right way with the right materials
As David and Greg tore down walls last weekend, they found a place where wooden outdoor steps were built right into the wall of the house, causing water to leak in from outside. They discovered gaps to the outside where all kinds of insects were entering (including spiders, hornets, and even an army of lady bugs). They pulled out old drywall and insulation and removed wooden boards to prepare for new structures. Emily and I helped haul the flammable materials to a burn pile, which we carefully supervised all day. Other materials went on the trash pile.
Because we know Jesus, we should be mindful about how we are building our lives. Romans 12:2, NASB, says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” That word renewing actually means renovation; in other words, we throw out the old, worldly, stinkin thinkin and replace it with God’s Word, His truth, His way of thinking. David and I got rid of the old, decaying, no-longer-relevant parts of our fixer-upper so that we could replace them with new and better materials. The Lord wants to do the same with our personal lives. That’s why He encourages us to build up our spiritual lives as He leads us (Galatians 6:7-8).
One of the best materials to use in building up our spiritual lives is God’s Word. Psalm 119, the longest Psalm, talks about the benefits of God’s Word as a building material. We are instructed in 2 Timothy 2:15, NASB, to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
I don’t know how long we will be renovating our little house in the mountains, but I do know it will be much improved when we are finished. I’m excited to one day see the fully renovated, competed project. Until then, we will keep building. May you do the same, beloved.
Question: How is the Lord helping you to make some spiritual renovations? Comment at the link below.
1 Corinthians 3:11; John 10:29; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:20; Luke 6:46-49; John 3:16; 10:10; 14:6; Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Psalm 127:1; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; John 7:38-39; Romans 12:2; Galatians 6:7-8; Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 2:15
Definition of Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foundation