Ok, I admit it. I’m one of the millions of people who watches the adventures of Chip and Joanna Gains, on their show Fixer Upper. I’m not really sure why I like it so much. Maybe it’s the incredible charisma and personality of the Gaines. Maybe it’s the down home, country, family feel that resonates with my inner farm-raised soul. Maybe it’s the sense of fun and adventure that each new project seems to have. I think what really gets me, though, is that at the heart of each and every show is the idea of transformation. They are taking something old, broken, and beat up and making it new.
They are breathing new life and purpose into something that most people had given up on.
My wife and I are seeing this up close and personal as we renovate a house we recently purchased. What an incredible picture of what is taking place inside each one of us every single day. We are undergoing a spiritual renovation. God is taking our brokenness and making us new. Each day he is breathing new life and purpose into us. He is the contractor, and we are the house. This is a process, and it requires us to be fully engaged. So, let’s take a look at how this process works in our lives.
Step 1: Demo Day
If you watch the show, you know “Demo Day” is always step one. Demo Day is where all of the broken, outdated, or unwanted things in the house get ripped out and thrown away. It’s where faulty structures, bad designs, and unwanted walls are removed. It’s an essential part of the process. If this doesn’t happen, the house will never change.
This is where we have to start as well. Before any new changes can happen, we have to deal with the old, broken places of our lives. Paul puts it another way in Colossians 3:5 when he says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” We have a nature inside us that is contrary to where God is calling us to be. It keeps us from experiencing more of Him and growing in our faith. Until we start dealing with the sin in our lives, true change will not happen.
When we do that, there is hope. Psalm 32:5 says, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my sins to the Lord.’ And You forgave the guilt of my sin.” Unlike the show, Demo Day in our lives isn’t fun, and it isn’t easy. It’s painful and a lot of hard work, but it’s absolutely necessary.
If we want to move forward we have to be willing to put the sledge hammer through the wall and let the transformation begin.
Step 2: A New Design
Once they’ve cleared the house of all the unwanted and broken stuff, it’s time to design something brand new. Joanna is a great designer and always comes up with something stunning that her clients love. Even if they aren’t sure at first, they usually make the decision to trust her judgement, and in the end they love the result.
We have an even better Designer. We have the one who created and formed our inmost being. We have the one who knows us better than we know ourselves. Once we’ve allowed Him to deal with the mess inside us, it’s time to allow Him to show us the new design for our lives. You may not be completely sold right away, but we can trust that He has our best interest and His glory in mind. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” He has the design, it’s our job to surrender and trust that the end result will be beautiful!
He has the design. It's our job to surrender and trust that the end result will be beautiful!
Step 3: Construction
Once the design is in place it’s time for the work to begin. It’s time to bring in new materials and begin building new things. It’s time to start hammering nails and installing countertops. The design becomes a step-by-step plan that is implemented and followed exactly. Every cut is carefully measured. Every nail driven in exactly the right place. It’s working with a purpose to make sure that the design becomes reality. It takes skill, precision, and determination.
Unlike a real renovation, we can’t leave this part up to the contractor. There’s no one that can do this work for us. We have to get our hands dirty. Fortunately, we’ve been given an instruction manual to follow. God’s Word gives us the blueprint for how to build the house. He has revealed to us how he expects us to live. If that weren’t enough, He sent Jesus as an example. It’s like Jesus’ life is our own personal how-to YouTube video. We just have to watch, listen, and then do it.
In Matthew 7:24-25 Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Put Jesus words into practice, and your foundation will be sure. Follow God’s plan and His design for your life will become a reality.
Step 4: The Final Reveal
Now it’s time for the last step. After all the demo, design and construction, it’s time to reveal the finished product. On the show they have a big picture of what the house used to look like blown up and put on wheels so that it blocks the view of the actual house. Then, they pull the picture away to reveal the dramatic final transformation. The house is now done and ready to be used for its true purpose. This is where God is bringing each of us, as well. Our reveal is a little different. God doesn’t make us wait until all the work is done to see the progress. We can look back and see the progress room by room. We can see the change from who we were to who we are now. It’s exciting!
As each room is revealed, we are released more and more into our true purpose.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” He has things for us to do, and He wants us to start being a part of His purposes right now. We don’t have to wait until the whole project is complete. But rest assured the final reveal is coming. One day, we will be like Jesus! (1 John 3:2). Paul assures us in Philippians 1:6 that he is “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” On that great day, our transformation will be truly complete!
So where are you in this process? We need to take a good, honest look at our lives. Transformation is something we are each called to and is necessary if we want to truly grow spiritually. The good news is we get to go through this process with the One who promises never to leave us or forsake us. God promises that if we will embrace this process, we will be released into a fulfilling life filled with His purposes for us – one for which we are uniquely made.
So, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”