Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Under Construction

One of the major roads near our home is currently under construction. Driving through it with my sister this weekend, she looked out the window and sighed, "Construction is so ugly."

It is, isn't it?

Crumbled asphalt, broken concrete, a barrage of dirt and orange...ick.

Mulling over her words, I realized that my heart probably looks a lot like that construction zone right now... in desperate need of excavation.  Broken layers of pride, envy, malice and idolatry needing to be ripped out so that the Holy Spirit can recover me with layers of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

The bible tells us that we must deconstruct before we can be reconstructed. God's word says to "put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph. 4:22-24)

Like any construction project, it's a long, tedious task with lots of dirt.  It can be inconvenient (for me and for those around me), annoying (again, for me and those around me!) and sometimes ugly.  

The apostle Paul describes it in this way...

"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:15-24)

As we see from Paul's words, construction is ongoing.  Just as one project is completed, another one must start.  In the same way, our hearts are constantly under construction as Christians.   Thankfully, we do not have to wage the war against our flesh alone.  Through Christ, we are no longer dead to sin but alive to God, and he has left us with a great helper, the Holy Spirit, who continually sanctifies us with the word of God (Jn 17:17), so that we might one day be presented blameless and holy to our great king. 

And thanks be to God, on that day, all construction will cease. Our bodies will be redeemed, we will be glorified, and the hope we have in Christ will come to full fruition.  As Paul says, our present sufferings...those ugly construction sites...aren't even "worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."  (Rom. 8:18)



1)  Reflect.  Which "roads" in your heart are in need of construction?  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your sin to you so that you might confess, repent and turn towards Jesus.

2)  Evaluate. The bible tells us that the Holy Spirit "reconstructs" or sanctifies us through the word of God.  In order for us to be sanctified through his word, we have to read it!  Take a moment to evaluate your time in the word.  Are you reading it? Meditating on it?  Allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify you through it?

3)  Pray.  Thank God for making us dead to sin and alive in Christ.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you wage war against your flesh and sanctify you through the word.  Pray earnestly for the coming of the king and the day when construction will cease.  


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