Remodeling and Refining

I’m a big fan of the DIY Network shows on television. I really like watching as kitchen and bathrooms are transformed from old and dingy to new and usable. It gives me some great ideas and I look forward to implementing them some day. But it always amazes me when the homeowner says they want to stay in the house during the remodel and then they begin to complain about all the mess, the noise and the inconvenience. I want to ask “what is it about the word remodel you didn’t understand?”

But the same is true in our spiritual lives. We say “Lord, take me and mold me into your image and likeness. I want to be like You! I want to be the person you’ve designed me to be.” And our prayer is sincere – we all want to be like Him but without the noise and the mess and the inconvenience…just saying.

We want to go to bed and wake up in the morning with no more bad thoughts or habits. We want to look all bright and shiny, glowing with the Father’s love for everyone to see. However, before the outside changes there’s a lot that needs to be done to build new supports, new wiring, a new central control. See there, we’re back to the Word of God! It’s profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction – for remodel!

The more we complain about the work that has been started and the work that still needs to be done the longer the process takes. I’ve been told that the refining of gold is a multi step process. First the ore needs to be crushed, then heated to burn off the impurities. Then chemicals, acids are added to break down more of the impurities, then heated again. The dross is skimmed off and then the heat goes up again. Each time the heat is higher and more impurities are destroyed. Sometimes the refiner will stop when the gold is 10k, 12k or 14k but for the really good stuff the process continues until it comes out 24k. The refiner is a skilled craftsman and His work isn’t to destroy but to improve and add value.

“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has great mercy, and because of his mercy he gave us a new life. This new life brings us a living hope through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death. 4 Now we wait to receive the blessings God has for his children. These blessings are kept for you in heaven. They cannot be ruined or be destroyed or lose their beauty.

5 God’s power protects you through your faith, and it keeps you safe until your salvation comes. That salvation is ready to be given to you at the end of time. 6 I know the thought of that is exciting, even if you must suffer through different kinds of troubles for a short time now. 7 These troubles test your faith and prove that it is pure. And such faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold will ruin. When your faith is proven to be pure, the result will be praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes.

8 You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You can’t see him now, but you believe in him. You are filled with a wonderful and heavenly joy that cannot be explained. 9 Your faith has a goal, and you are reaching that goal—your salvation.” I Peter 1:3-8 ERV

The impurities are destroyed and the gold is refined to its purest form. To the natural eye it’s hard to tell the difference between 10k and 24k gold but to the skilled the difference is remarkable. The same with the remodel process, the casual observer only sees the new paint, flooring, and appliances but the homeowner and the contractor know that the foundation is firm, the wiring is good and won’t short out and that the plumbing won’t leak.

So, when God says in His Word “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” then we should be of good cheer! We will all face tribulation because we all live in the world but that’s not the finished product. We need to lift our heads and cheer up because we walk with the one who has overcome and He has purposed us to be overcomers in this life too.

“Loving God means obeying his commands. And God’s commands are not too hard for us, 4 because everyone who is a child of God has the power to win against the world. 5 It is our faith that has won the victory against the world. So who wins against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” I John 5:3-5 ERV

So be thankful today; not for the tribulation or the trial but because you know the One who has overcome is refining you by His Word and you too have been remodeled into an overcomer!