“We take the worst house in the best neighborhood and turn it into our clients’ dream home.” If you recognize these words you might be a fan of HGTV’s hit home improvement show “Fixer Upper”.
Chip and Joanna Gaines do indeed turn nightmares into dreams. Chip readily admits his favorite day of the whole process is Demo Day. Cracked, rotten, and moldy siding, porches, floors, chimneys, kitchens and baths get torn apart, then repaired and repainted. Foundations get beefed up. Rooftops patched. Support beams hoisted into place. Then with Tinkerbelle flair, Joanna sweeps in to complete the transformation with a wave of new tables, chairs, sofas, beds and doo dads.
Each episode ends with the client couple standing in front of a billboard-sized photograph of the old house as Joanna asks with a broad grin, “Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” With great anticipation, the photograph slides out of the way to reveal the results of the jaw-dropping demolition/renovation process. I must say I’ve never been disappointed in the outcome. I most especially love the fact that Chip and Joanna follow Jesus, and they don’t mind putting their love for one another on display for all the world to see.
I don’t know about you, but I believe God has been hard at work doing some demolition in my life. I’m sure when He looks at my pride and legalism His nose wrinkles at the stink. Having those embedded nails yanked out one at a time isn’t fun, but I’d begin all over again for the overwhelming joy and peace that’s replacing them.
What about you? Do you have some things God would like to tear out of your life and replace with something far more fragrant and beautiful? Perhaps Satan has you believing you are the worst house in your neighborhood, and no amount of sawing, sanding, or shoveling can get rid of your rotten mess. Possibly, you think you’ll never complete the renovation process, so why begin. Maybe you’ve turned a blind eye toward the decay in your life, or on the other hand, you think you simply can’t pay the price to experience your own demo day.
There were two guys who walked with Jesus who could have thought the same things. Three crows of a rooster opened Peter’s eyes to his own sagging faith (Matthew 26). But it was his thankfulness for grace and mercy that reinforced his ability to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, enabling him to remind all of us of this profound truth: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of him who brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
God’s grace replaced Peter’s guilt.
Even John, the beloved disciple, proved he’d learned who was really behind his desire to exclude those who didn’t think like him (Luke 9) when he wrote: “When he [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) After years of renovation, the billboard photograph of John’s stale old heart that once longed to call down fire on rude, unwelcoming Samaritans slid to the side to reveal a fresh, vibrant, loving heart: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
God’s love replaced John’s arrogance.
Jesus stands ready and able to dismantle and sweep away all traces of our shame, guilt, and condemnation, making room for some Holy Spirit power to resurrect victory, freedom, and confidence in our salvation.
The contract God’s drawn up guarantees that He will breathe new life into us by:
• laying a firm foundation for our faith,
• exchanging our faulty wiring with some from His own house,
• replacing our hearts of stone with soft pliable ones,
• installing a state-of-the-art generator that runs on thankfulness,
• weeding out captive thoughts and planting new obedient ones, and
• providing us with a security system that cannot be penetrated.
All He requires is our signature. Need a pen? It’s Demo Day!