I love asking "what if" questions. They make me reflect ... think ... grow ... look forward. They also remind me that there is lots of work for God and me to do.
The question for this week might be "what if we remodel" or, more accurately, "What if we ask God to remodel us?" If I remodel the work won't be lasting and it will lack attention to the things I really need to change. If God remodels, it will be perfect for me and for all of the people in my life. So ... what might God do?
I think God, in and to me, might focus on the three things I often see on those remodeling programs on TV (Property Brothers ... Fixer Upper ... you know the ones). They buy a house with obvious issues because it is cheap. They decide what work will make the house functional, livable, attractive and good for the new family that will move in. Here goes.
First, almost all of the houses on TV need electrical work. Old wiring and new appliances, devices and electronics don't mix well. Did you know that the human brain can also be rewired? It is called 'brain plasticity' and it is the new thing in dealing with the mess our world has made out of our minds. The Bible said we need to have our minds transformed (Romans 12:2). God knew this is possible and is part of our design. Counselors, psychiatrists and mental health practitioners have discovered the 'new' science of brain plasticity and are, through MRI technology, discovering some very interesting things. I think God already knows these things, and we see them play out when people allow God to change them. I, for one, submit myself to this rewiring ... I hope you will too.
Second, the desired thing, in many of these remodeling projects, is the 'open floor plan.' This means less rooms and more open space. Let's think about this from a 'mind-centric' point of view. I grew up in a culture that sells the idea of lots of rooms with lots of compartments. I heard my secular bosses say, more than once, "well that's just business" to justify bad behavior and a less-than-honest way to treat an employee, a competitor or someone you wanted to pass on the ladder of success. I have heard many people say, "I keep my faith to Sunday and church." We have been sold the idea that we, as Christians, should separate Church and State. This is classic western thinking ... rooms, compartments, walls. The Hebrew mindset (as prompted in Scripture) is vastly different. There is a concept in Hebrew faith called 'one thing.' It is generally summed-up like this ... life is one thing. It is why Deuteronomy 6 says that God is 'one' and that we, as people of faith are to love God as a totality with all of life ... when we wake up ... when we walk along the road ... when we lie down at night. Loving God is something we do with the totality of our lives ... we do not place God in His room to control Him like another one of our compartments. You get the point!
One final thing ... on TV the houses are bought cheap because they are broken. I love that image for us as broken vessels. But God does something amazing ... He, because He loves and values us, pays top dollar for us. And then He invests Jesus life and His Spirit into those broken vessels, making us beautiful, whole, useful and worthwhile. That is the amazing message of the Gospel and of life with God. I would love for God to take me on as a remodeling project, and, in fact, He has. "Lord ... do Your good work ... make me whole ... make me beautiful to you ... make me who/what You will!" AMEN ... Randy