My declaration: I am committed to renewing the way I think, so that I will think like the Father thinks.
We bought a little log cabin. It would be nice to have a place with some land, where our boys could run about in the woods. For the first time in our house-buying days, we actually hired other people to evaluate the condition of the house. They would tell us if there was anything significantly wrong. We had a home inspector and structural engineer look at it. We had the water tested, the septic inspected, the chimney and roof inspected, and even had them do radon testing. We knew that the basement smelled a little bit dank and damp. But all the reports came back without any significant concerns. We bought it. It’s ours.
To remove smell from the walk-out basement we decided to just remove old drywall, install new, and put a fresh coat of paint on. To our dismay, it hasn’t been that easy. We discovered that an entire main wall was cracked and structurally needed replacement. Water infiltration over the years had completely saturated the block wall and it was literally black with mold. The studs covering the block walls had rotted out over time, and someone had even nailed new boards onto the sides of the rotted boards, and these replacement boards where themselves nearly rotted out too.
The reports said everything looked OK from the outside, and we expected we would just need some freshening up and a surface-level coat of paint. But uncovering things brought a realization that the work of making things new isn’t surface level. To make the house whole again has been a process…a long process of renovation.
Renovation projects are portrayed on HGTV to be fun. And at the end of the journey, there certainly are ALWAYS good before-and-after stories to tell. The problem in real life, beyond the fact that it takes more effort than shown and is much longer than a 1-hr chunk of passive viewer time, is that you usually don’t know the extent of needed repairs you’re going to encounter. We get setup for unrealistic expectations for what renewal and renovation really requires.
We had to make a decision. Even though we weren’t aware of the level to which renewal was needed, we owned it. It was proper to do the hard work, pay the cost, and take necessary actions to make the house whole again.
Those are good words to remember for our spiritual lives.
Renewal and renovation aren’t overnight fixes. Once you start the renovation of your life, you realize that there are often deep core motivations, beliefs, and ways of thinking that require a reshaping, or even total replacement.
I was reading Romans 12 and saw how Paul tells us to go about a personal spiritual renovation:
Don’t take on the shape of this world, this present age. Instead, be reshaped (have your form changed & shaped in keeping with the inner reality) by renewing the way you think.
Once you have renewed the way you think,
and you have been reshaped according to heaven,
then you will be able to demonstrate in your life,
God’s preferred desires which are good, acceptable, and complete
I think I used to have unrealistic expectations that I just needed a quick devotional reading, church on Sunday, or solid praise music to freshen me up... then I'd be good. I didn't realize the extent of needed repairs that I've encountered as I start uncovering things, and renewing the way I think.
I'm wondering if surface level Christianity can even exist...is there such a thing as a person who comes to Jesus for just a surface level transformation?
Here’s a great reminder for how I’m renewing the way I think, from Philippians 4:6-8.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds as you rest in Christ Jesus Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things
Let’s think heaven’s thoughts about situations and people that compose our daily lives. Choose to cast all your cares on Jesus because He cares for you. Talk to Him about what you are experiencing, and ask him to renew your mind to see it the way He does. Set your mind on the specifics of the list above, and take every other thought captive.
And the peace of God hat surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind as you rest in Christ Jesus
We are praying for you all!