We recently began the process of cleaning and updating my in-laws log house in order to down-size and hopefully save on heating expenses. As par for the course, an empty house for any length of time begins to show signs of neglect. OK we thought, we will just add some paint, change some carpet, do some deep cleaning and we will be good to go….
What a dream that a little bit of work would fix it right up; rodents, insects, spiders and you name it had taken over the inside. The deeper cleaning revealed an area that was damp and upon further investigation we found termites and rot had taken over behind the walls in some of the logs. Isolated to this one area we thought, but we need to check the rest of the logs. Wrong, there were some other places that needed attention in order to maintain the structure.
After toiling over finding a solution, and trying to find logs, then replace them from the bottom up, with help from some friends, we finally have a log house with solid logs. BUT OH what a daunting, overwhelming task it was.
Went to a service tonight that the sermon was on being born of, filled with and led by the spirit and as I was praying God began to speak to my heart. Many people are like my little log cabin. It looked great from the outside, didn’t even look too bad on the inside once you cleared the remains of the rodents and insects. People can look great from the outside; in fact they can even appear to be solid in the faith (know the right language, do the right things, be in church every service) yet they can be decayed and termite eaten on the inside.
God spoke to me that just as a wooden structure will show signs of neglect, so will our spiritual natures in human bodies. On the log house we had to cut the bolts and nails, and hammer and pound the rotten logs away. It was a tedious, lengthy process and had to be done just right in order to get the bad logs out without cutting electric or water lines, and to fit the new logs in. Careful measuring to make sure the logs fit in the empty spots. AND just as we had to burn and destroy the termites to make sure our work was not in vain, Christ does the same with our lives. It hurts when He begins to cut away those things that are not healthy. It hurts when He hammers and chisels to remove the rot. It hurts when He shifts our structure in order to stretch us and to mold us and to shape us into His Son’s image. Just as the walls were torn down log by log, and the replacement logs had to be already ready, dried, measured and cut to the same size, He has to work in our lives pouring those things in that are needful. Just as when the last log was put in place we saw a house that was complete, when God finishes with us, He sees us as “perfect” which in the Hebrew means complete. We still have stuff to do. Fill in the cracks. Spray for pests. Paint and seal but the structure is intact. God will still have work to do on us as long as we are in an earthen vessel.
If we allow the master craftsman to search our hearts, to try us, to test us, He will perform whatever is needed to mold us and to shape us into who He has created us to be. I was reminded, In Christ; a person should not desire a form of godliness but be full of decay and termites. In Christ, A person should not desire our own way and our own will and be filled with rodents and spiders and cobwebs. We should deny our flesh daily. We should take up our cross and follow Him. In Christ, we are a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I just want to encourage you to remember that in Christ, we are a work in progress and to yield to the Master. Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Job knew it best when he said, Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.