Have you ever been involved with renovations before? I remember after my house flood a few years ago I had to renovation about 75% of my home. Renovations usually take longer than they tell you it is going to take (3-4 months), cost more than they tell you (way more), are messy and inconvenient, and you wonder why you started the renovation process in the first place.
When we are convicted we need to change sinful habits in our lives they often feel like renovations. Now when the renovations are complete we love the results. Here are are a few truths about renovating types of change:
Change comes with pain. Change hurts at times. When were uncover secretive sinful areas and live in the light the process can be painful. It can be painful because we fail at times trying to change. We don’t like the change and like a magnet we are drawn back to our old ways. As the saying goes, “Old habits are hard to break.” Yet if you continue in your sinful habits you will continue to reap a sinful lifestyle:
Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
I live in Indiana, so this farming analogy God uses in the Bible makes sense. I understand that if you sow corn you will reap corn. If you sow soybeans you will reap soybeans. Now if you sow a sinful lifestyle you will reap destruction, but if you sow the Spirit you will reap life. It is that simple. If you think you are superman or superwoman and that your sin will never affect you it is time you drop your cape. You cannot cover in your sin for long, nor can you break sinful habits without the supernatural power of God. If you think you have super powers of your own: Hosea 8:7 say, “They will sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” Prov.22:8 “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble.” Reaping sin is like reaping up the villain and giving him strength rather than killing it.
Change comes with cycles. Like a washing machine goes through spin cycles before the clothes get clean, so we go through cycles before we grow in the process of change. The usual cycle goes something like this: Change > Conflict > Growth. There comes a point in the change process that is a battle. The conflict is tough. The desire to give up is there. God encourages us to fight our way through the crowd of conflict because the result will be glorious.
Change comes with a cost. Change can’t be bought at the dollar store. Change isn’t cheap. Our change cost a life. It took the bloodshed of God and the death of Christ to make the payment for your sinfulness. Jesus doesn’t want to just save you; He wants to change you.
Change comes with radical rewards. Our normal response to change is resistance. We resist because of the conflict. Most do not like to deal with conflict, but if they do not fight through it with God’s help they miss out on the reward. The reward is not removal of the mind, but a renewal the mind. We will use more of our minds for Christ.
Remember Prov. 28:13? “He who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” God will shower you in His mercy. You cannot handle the amount of mercy and grace He gives. I have had this David Crowder song stuck in my head the past few weeks. There is a line in the song that goes like this:
He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
We are His portion and He is our prize, Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, And my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about, the way…He loves us.
We are under construction and the renovation of change in our life comes with pain, cycles, cost, but has radical rewards.