When the Careful Carpenter renovates your home:

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
— -Colossians 1:14
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Delivered… Out of darkness and into marvelous light. Sometimes we are duped into believing that when we put our faith in Christ, that everything dark in or around us is just going to go away. As if a new owner bought our heart, Christ’s home, and poof. It will be gutted and cleaned out and renovated over night. But my experience is showing me that Christ is a patient Carpenter. He doesn’t just obliterate us in the renovations. There’s this tension between what He sees in us, the hope of glory, the way we are in Christ, redeemed, perfected, righteous through faith AND what we see in us in the natural, the old ways of thinking, the old oppressive thoughts.

Christ purchased us, His new dwelling place. And now it’s time for Demo Day. Listen, renovations don’t happen over night. They take a very long time. There may be mold in the walls or the entire HVAC system needs gutted. You may have things that have seeped deep into your sheet rock and are rotting. You may have a termite infestation. You may have rats eating up the electrical. Shoot. You may have snakes under the foundation. House renovations sometimes take years because generations before you have been taking such poor care of that home.

The Good News?? You have a New Owner! You have the Hope of Glory!  And He is going to walk you through the home and assess the situation. And He’s not going to just bulldoze you. He is going to patiently, little by little, show you what we need to go after next. Sometimes it’s obvious things like termites and snakes. Other times, it’s the unseen lead in the paint that you thought looked like it was in pretty good shape.

When we are transferred to the Kingdom of Light, we are also surprised sometimes that He doesn’t just do it all for us. The Carpenter seems to give us the hammer and the authority and strength and power to use it by faith through grace in prayer.  We can whine about that. We can throw in the towel. We can start slinging that hammer left and right.

But I think it best that we surrender to the building plans and follow the Strong and Gentle Lead of the Carpenter. I think it best that we say, “Not my will, but yours be done.”  We may want to repaint first when He knows we need to take the whole thing down to studs. We may get distracted with ornamental things when the entire foundation needs restored. We may put a deadline on the renovation that was never part of the plan, or even realistic for that matter. He will show you what unwelcome guests to bind and what to send away to a dry and arid land where it shall not prosper. 

And then, the day will come when the home is empty. It is down to studs. The whole thing is gutted. And it’s empty. All the old appliances (the old ways of getting things done) are gone. All the old behaviors and habits are out of there.

Here’s the ridiculous part. We get the house empty through deliverance and then we think we can operate normally the next day. But the oven is gone. The laundry machine is gone. There’s no fridge. We feel empty, and we feel exposed. We feel disoriented because everything we used to know is no longer. Now we have seen the vision the Master Builder has for our lives. So we know glorious things are coming soon. But right now. Sheesh. We feel skinned down to studs and naked.

Remember this passage? It's Jesus talking...

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45

Do not fear. The man’s condition only worsened because he left his house unoccupied. Friends, the goal of restoration is not to get it down to studs. That’s the goal of Demo Day. Renovation Day is the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The decorating with worship. The bringing life back! The new appliances and tools in a home that help you host God’s presence, like prayer, thanksgiving, wisdom, and faith. We can’t go back and cook mac and cheese the day after demo day. But somehow we expect to.

After a major demo day of deliverance in my life, I jumped back into a busy week, with a vacation to pack for, a homeroom mom party to throw, and a house to clean before leaving town in just three days. I felt so empty, so disoriented, and couldn’t catch my breath with all the people, and all the to-do’s. I didn’t give myself any time between demolition of the old and building back the new. It left me vulnerable to attack and trying to make ‘mac and cheese’ with appliances that didn’t even exist in my heart anymore.

After a friend of mine had her deliverance, she hid in her room for three days. She said she felt so empty and she just filled her heart/home back up with worship and the Spirit.

Well. She had a feast of the richest of fare in her Spirit. It makes my mac and cheese look even more like cardboard than before. I long for that! We need to fill back up!

A Prayer for You Today:

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here! Make your home in my heart! Dwell with me. Teach me to abide in you. Show me what I need to take authority over today, to kick out of my home. And fill my lips with praises so I don’t leave my home empty. Make my home your lovely dwelling  place. Saturate every part of me with your goodness and mercy. Please help me to be patient with you as you are patient with me. Help me give space and time for the Good Work you are doing in me. I can’t force your hand for the day of completion, so until that day, I will trust in You to guide me, release me, free me, little by little. Restore me to You. For the honor and glory of your Name, Jesus. By the authority of Jesus’ Name, may it be so. Amen.

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