Fixer Upper, Good Bones, Rehab Addict, Hidden Potential…
In recent years, these TV shows about renovating old, decrepit homes have become extremely popular! Contractors and interior designers like Chip and Joanna Gaines have attained celebrity status. We love to see abandoned, decaying homes not just restored to their former glory, but often made even better!
Have you ever stopped to ask why?
Why do we love a good renovation story? Why do we love seeing the before and after?
In Romans 8:5-11, Paul offers us a contrast between the mind set on the flesh and the mind set on the Spirit. The first produces death, and the second produces life and peace. The first is the decaying, old house…the before. The second is the after. It’s not perfect, but the design elements of the original house that had fallen into disrepair have been restored. They’ve been loved back to life.
The word “dwell” is mentioned three times in this short passage. It’s the same word we use to describe the type of living that makes a house a home. It involves rearranging, repainting, and cleaning, but it also involves spending time in the space…making it our own.
Here’s the glorious truth we read in Romans 8:5-11: we are no longer at the mercy of our flesh, because the Spirit of God dwells in us. “The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead” dwells in US!
When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, the Spirit of God moves into your very being. His Spirit comes to DWELL in you.He makes Himself at home in you. He cleans the crown molding that was so exquisite when created but has been covered with dirt and grime for years. He kicks out the rats that had made themselves at home in the basement. He does it all – for His own pleasure and glory and for your good.
This metaphor does break down eventually…because you, as an image bearer of God Himself, have infinite more value and worth than a house. And while a house can’t respond to the loving family that lives within its walls, we can respond to the loving God who lives within us.
So will we respond by setting our minds on the Spirit – on that which is true of God and true of us – and then loving Him and others as a result of understanding the new identity He has freely bestowed on us? Or will we respond by setting our minds on our old master – our flesh? Will we crack the door to let those rats re-enter something that has been made so beautiful?
May we be governed by the Spirit who dwells in us. May He move whatever needs to be moved in order to make Himself at home within us. May we look in the mirror and realize - because of Jesus - we are no longer the before, but the after.
With great joy & love,