Renovations to a home are exciting and filled with anticipation. Dreaming together as a couple, on the front end of the project, is empowering. Then there are the phases of construction, and sometimes unforseen circumstances. It’s amazing the things that get uncovered in the process of tearing out walls or pulling up floors. They were actually there all the time but were hidden.
I love the example of a builder in the Bible, named Nehemiah. God’s people were taken into captivity, their temple and city laid waste. When the exiles began to return they first rebuilt the temple, but the city around the temple, their center of government, was in shambles. Pastor Jack Hayford points out, in Rebuilding the Real You, that God’s people had a place of restored relationship (the temple) but needed a place of restored rulership (the city). We have a restored relationship with God; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. But our mind, emotions and will, the seat of government for our behavior, must continually come under the rulership of God.We have a restored relationship with God; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. But our mind, emotions and will, the seat of government for our behavior, must continually come under the rulership of God. Click To Tweet
Nehemiah was given favor, and released by the king of Persia, to travel to Jerusalem and head up the renovations, more like searching through the rubble really, to salvage good bricks to build with and then oversee the reconstruction of the city from the ground up. He was asked by the king to specify the time that he would be gone. Turns out that he had to ask for extensions because the work was vast. It eventually took 12 years. Isn’t that how estimated times of completion sometimes go?
How long did it take in your marriage, or in your personal life, to complete your city? In my humble opinion, the right answer would be something like this: It’s actually still under construction and we (I) work hard to maintain what’s been built, while being thankful for all that God has done.
The Bible declares that “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Cor.6:17 (NASB) We are one, I am a temple where Holy Spirit dwells. But every day, I have work to do in my city.
We are reminded in God’s word that “you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Col. 3:9 When I first had this experience (being born again) at the age of 21, I was a brand new creation. My life turned around completely and for the next six months I was floating on a cloud, and rightly so. I was celebrating my brand new life. Then came renovations, the new self renewed in knowledge, over and over again. Writing now, 43 years into the journey, I am actually still under construction, and I’ve seen enough change in my life to motivate me to ask for more, albeit it requires intentional focus and discipline.
It’s all a part of the glorious journey, on the timeline of transformation.