The Renovation of My Heart :: Distractions of Sawdust
God has been bringing me to a greater understanding of sanctification (being made to look more like Jesus). As I’ve been thinking about the renovations in my heart, I know too often I get distracted seeing where everyone else needs renovations and what rooms they’re keeping from Jesus.
The last thing an enemy of intimacy with Jesus would want is for me to begin gutting the ugly corridors of my soul and allowing God to renovate the destruction. And Satan masterfully distracts me from my own heart.
Why is it so easy to see everyone else’s sin and faults but my own? Relationships have the nasty way of creating the illusion of every place I am righteous and hiding my glaring unrighteousness. I can fixate so easily where everyone else needs renovation and avoid my own. Satan is the master of distracting me by idolizing where everyone else should grow.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” - Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
To put it in terms of the twisted heart analogy, “How dare you start drawing up the plans of renovation for someone else’s heart when the smell of death is leaching to your heart?”
Why do I look at someone else’s mess and excuse mine? Honestly? Because it’s comfortable and I want to avoid the pain and vulnerability of addressing my locked rooms and dark hallways at all costs.
Sanctification isn’t natural, isn’t easy, and isn’t painless. It’s way easier to stay comfortable and justify that if everyone else just dealt with their junk I wouldn’t feel the way I do.
Even if everyone else on the planet dealt with their heart’s garbage my dark corners and secret cocaine compartments would collect cobwebs and still smell like decomposing bodies.
It’s only when I surrender to Jesus, “Do what you need to do in order to make me more like you…”
Raise your hand if that’s a scary plea?
I find myself saying, “Do what you need to, but don’t make it hurt too much, please.”
But sanctification will hurt, tearing up hallways, opening up doors, and finding the hidden storage compartments of my heart is hard.
“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51:16-17
This is the place God wants me and where he meets me.
Not giving trite promises to change or a peak of what’s beyond the locked up doors of my heart. Not ready to do demolition work on someone else’s heart and avoid my own.
He wants me, in all my fear to say, “Not my will but yours, do what you need to.” Turning away from (repenting) and surrendering to his work.
He promises to never leave or forsake me and that he will not despise my broken and contrite heart.
Seeing the speck and avoiding the log, or drawing up renovations for everyone else while the interior of my heart is in shambles keeps me in bondage.
Instead, he calls me to lay down my vendetta to renovate someone else’s heart and stop excusing the darkness of my hallways. I choose to welcome him in and do his work, trusting that he’s doing the same to everyone else around me, knowing his craft is custom work, custom designed and timed for each heart-home according to his plan.
Too often I act like I’m the contractor hired out to come in and fix something or I’ve appointment myself to inspect other hearts. My repair work on someone else’s heart-home doesn’t have the lasting power of Jesus’ design.
It sounds gross, but I know I’m not the only one (you know who you are).
But that’s not my role. I’m just a neighbor who needs to be willing to be in the shambles of my heart and the hearts of my neighbors with them.
So, today I ask you, are you drawing up blueprints for renovations for your neighbor’s house? Are the impairments and needs for repair in someone else so glaringly obvious to you that you’ve neglected where Jesus wants to move in and work in you? Are you ready to fling open doors, creep down hallways, and honestly ask Jesus to do his will?
It’s risky business, leaving our homes open and ready to be gutted, repaired, creeping down a dim corridor uncertain of what the ultimate plans are for your home. It’s risky because it makes us live in a place of vulnerability, complete surrender to the process, looking messy and exposed to anything.
But there is a plan, far beyond what we think or imagine and it will be completed in you and me.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. “- Philippians 1:6
Question: Honesty time, have you been drawing up plans for everyone else to avoid the work Jesus wants to do in you?
Prayer: Lord, give me a vision for the work you desire to do in my heart. Free me from the bondage of trying to "fix" everyone else and draw me to a place of resting in the work you're doing in me and celebrate the work you're doing in others.