Posted by: pastortomvabeach | March 5, 2019

Thought For The Week March 10, 2019

Pastor Doug Crabb has been filling in for me for the last few weeks due to the busyness of my schedule.  I’m very grateful for his insights and suggestions on spiritual living.

This week I want to share another short devotional by Dr. Tony Evans entitled Trust the Process, and then connect that with what we were discussing last Sunday in Ephesians.  Here’s Dr. Evans’ devotional:

“A number of years ago, our kitchen was remodeled.  The remodeler came in and showed us some great plans.  He showed us pictures of what the new cabinets would look like, samples of our options for wallpaper, and color cards with choices for paint.  It was a glorious sight to see what our new kitchen was going to look like on paper.  In fact, there was so much excitement and anticipation about the new kitchen, we forgot about the process.

“To get that kitchen remodeled, stuff had to be torn down and torn up.  Things got so bad in our house, that at one point, we had to move in with our daughter to get away from all of the flying dust.  The remodeler had to tear up the floor, tear down the cabinets, move out the appliances, and sand down the walls.  We had to get out of there.  We couldn’t take it!  But we wouldn’t have been able to get a new kitchen if the old one wasn’t torn up first.

“Many people want God to give them a new life, a new job, or a new situation; but they don’t want Him to touch anything.  If I would have told my remodeler that I didn’t want him to touch anything, he would have told me that I didn’t want to remodel.  If I wanted new paint, a new floor, or new cabinets, none of that would be possible if the old stuff wasn’t messed up first.  We have got to trust God and give Him permission to tear things up so that He can make all things new.

“Sometimes God has to strip us, break us and remove from us that which we have come to rely on in order for us to be rebuilt with spiritual strength, focus and stamina.  It never feels good when He’s removing securities and other things from us but if we will trust the process, we will see a greater good on the other side.”

I believe that Paul literally describes God’s remodeling process in Ephesians.  Just like the contractor, he gives us a picture of the new person God is making in the first three chapters.  Unlike a remodel in your house, much of that picture is already completed when we trust in Jesus.  We are adopted as God’s children (Eph. 1:5); forgiven of our sins (1:7); sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13); made alive together with Christ (2:5); seated in heavenly places in Christ (2:6); etc.

These inner spiritual changes happen immediately but they don’t happen without removing those things that need to be renewed.  Our old self is put to death and crucified with Christ.  God gives us repentance and calls us to turn from those old ways that He has torn up and removed.  That happens inwardly but then is worked out outwardly.  The moment we believe in Jesus the remodeling process begins.

The Holy Spirit is the remodeler who comes into His new house (we are the temple of the Holy Spirit) and begins to work in us to  Throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Ephesians 4:22.  That is often something we struggle with since we, like the homeowner, want to have the remodel without God touching anything.  Some of the old ways we learned to live with and, even if they brought wrong results and kept us tied in knots, we were comfortable with them.  We just somehow want God to put the new on top of the old.  But He’s not in that business.  He makes us into a totally new creation.

When Paul says Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:24, he’s telling us to live like we’ve already been remodeled and we’re already the new temple.  Knowing that He calls us to remove all the old pieces of the old house and live like that shiny, clean, totally remade dwelling of His Spirit.  Just like most homeowners need a professional contractor to remodel the kitchen or bath or whatever, we need the Holy Spirit to show us, empower us, and remake us.  And you know what, He is there at every moment ready to work in and through us to ensure the process works.  He is a Contractor who keeps his word.  You can rely on Him.

So how’s your remodel process coming?  Are you letting the Contractor (the Holy Spirit) lead you to throw off your old nature and putting up the new paint, flooring, and cabinets in the temple that is you?  If you want to know how beautiful you are becoming in the process, just read Ephesians 1-3 again, many times!  Just a thought.

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