This past week has been really busy for my husband and I as we fix up our house to prepare it for selling. In doing all the necessary work, I began to hear the Holy Spirit whisper some things, as He did I could see a connection between putting our house together and putting our temporary “house” (our lives) together.
Last week I wrote about one of the things the Lord showed me when I was painting. I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t allow your history to navigate your future for surely your future will hold many twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs and some will end beautifully and some will end painfully.” I went on to write, “Our pasts do not have to dictate our future, but when we are stuck in the past, we can’t embrace our destiny. Everything we need to do to begin the healing process of life’s hurts start with forgiving someone.” That article coincides with this one, so if you haven’t had a chance to read it click here, History Doesn't Have to Dictate the Future.
A couple of days later my husband and I were outside painting and shoveling rock when I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit so; I stopped what I was doing to listen. I began to gain an understanding of how our lives can become a run-down mess by the time we ask for God’s help. Just as our homes often get neglected, so do our souls, the part of us that contains our will, emotions, mind, heart, and feelings. Our bodies are but earthen vessels (2Co 4:7) but they are full of heavenly treasures, and like many treasures, they can get buried in the debris of life and need to be rediscovered to be found useful.
Our bodies are often referred to as tents in the scriptures; For we know that if our earthly house, [this] tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2Co 5:1 NKJV
Jesus also referred to our lives as houses when He said, “24 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”Mat 7:24 Jesus went on to describe how the house built on the proper foundation will stand. When we haven’t lived our lives built on the foundation of Christ, we will have some reconstruction needs once we turn our lives over to Him.
The Bible tells us that when we are born again, we become a new creation. However, we don’t always see this new creation in the natural right away. Just as a house is being built, one can’t always tell during the construction process what the new creation will look like. Construction can be messy.
As we have been working on our home, I began to notice how many things we let go over the past years. For example, our gate was broken in a wind storm, and several pieces of the wood slats were missing, and even though we saw and used this gate on a regular basis, I just stopped looking at it. There were some other things around our home like that as well. Things that we tolerated because the time to take care of it or the money wasn’t available. We stopped looking, and we stopped being bothered by these things; we tolerated them as part of what we had to live with.
Interesting how we will ignore things until we know someone is about to inspect those things. We know people will be looking at our home intently and they will want the most for their money so now we are looking at issues with the intent to fix them. When we come to the Lord and begin to read His word, it begins to look at us intently. Now we can begin to see firsthand the things in our lives that we have tolerated. Healing begins as our souls go under construction with the Contractor that created us.
This soul construction process can often involve testing to bring forth the surety of our faithfulness.
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
- Psalms 66:10
And for those who lived a reckless life before being born again, a lot of damage may have been done to their souls, hearts, and even bodies. Thankfully, God can mend all of it.
Fleshly Works are Obvious
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21
In another letter, this one written to the Corinthian church, Paul states that a group of people such as thieves, drunks, extortioners, fornicators, the sexually impure, idolaters, and homosexuals won’t inherit the kingdom of God. But, then he says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” - 1Co 6:11
When we finally make the decision for Christ we are often at the bottom of a pit, one that had us living a lifestyle in any of the before mentioned ways. Praise God we don’t have to clean up before we come to Jesus because only He can take the most wretched and defiled person and turn them inside out and make them new again.
The Bible has many testimonies of changed lives that once were given over to the immorality of the land and yet turned around for His purposes. There are also testimonies of those who appeared to be godly people but backslid or sinned, yet returned to God for even greater purposes. Take hope in knowing these men and women were redeemed for God’s purposes and you can be too.
Abraham followed his wives plans for Gods future and had sex with his concubine creating Ishmael. This sin continues to affect God’s people to this day.
Moses killed a man, yet he was recovered from the identity of murderer to the rescuer when he brought thousands through the wilderness and out of bondage.
Noah appeared to be nuts and he had a tendency to drink a bit much, yet the world was reestablished through his obedience.
Apostle Paul was a religious zealot that persecuted and partook in the death of Christians. Much of the New Testament is credited to his writings.
Peter was filled with pride and fear yet Jesus said he would return and strengthen his brethren. Peter returned to Christ and preached the gospel with signs and wonders, bringing many to the salvation of Christ.
Mary Magdalene was possessed with 7 demons, she was delivered and was the first to see Jesus in His resurrected state.
David reigned as king over Jerusalem and Judah for 40 years and was considered a man after God’s own heart yet he had committed adultery and got his mistress pregnant then covered it up by having her husband killed in battle!
God can take the broken and disturbed and make them new!
The word refurbished means to furbish again. It means to restore to a good condition. Can you see why our lives need to be refurbished by the King of kings? For us to be restored to a good condition, we must humble ourselves because humility brings us closer to God. Humility says, “I’m not able to do this on my own, I can’t restore myself.” When we admit these things, we are on the path of restoration.
Jesus said, "No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. Mar 3:27 And “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.’ Luke 11:24
When our souls are left untended, and we go forward in life calling ourselves Christ followers but not doing as He did, it is because we have left things neglected for way too long. Sometimes we tolerate things or say we will get to them only to never get to them. Constantly avoiding the things God has called us to allow Him to change, will only result in continued brokenness and messiness. In the long run, we may find this mess to be greater than the energy it takes to clean it up.
Satan will look at these messes and find them inviting; they are possibilities of bondage for him. He longs to keep us so preoccupied with life that we don’t tend to ours. Remember, Satan is roaming to and from looking for whom he may devour because that is what he does, he destroys.
Fortunately, for us, Jesus is the branch, and we are the vine, God is the Vinedresser. When we remain in Him we don’t have to work on us we work with Him, and He works on us. We lean on Jesus as Savior and Lord and do as He did. Through the washing of the word, we can become transformed.
Heavenly Father, I give You thanks, glory, and honor for a refurbished life in Jesus. Thank You for taking the time to teach me to tend to my life in such a way as to allow Your Spirit to do the necessary plowing, watering, and pruning that is needed to bring me into the fullness of who You created me to be. Today, if I am found standing secure in myself and yet still have a need for pruning, I ask You to take those parts of me and do what only You can do. Heal and restore. As I continue to pursue You, I’m certain that You will continue to grow me. I love You Lord and give You all the glory for this healed life. In Jesus name, Amen