Remodeling a Living House

WRECKING_BALLEvery time I read C.S. Lewis’ analogy of God remodeling a “living house” (Mere Christianity), I find it constructive. Lewis writes:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.”

Lewis hits the nail on the head. When God moves in, He does more than furniture rearranging and feather dusting. He’s got more in mind than routine repairs and tasteful decorating. He tears right into the structure with holy abandon. And when He is in demolition mode, it can really hurt. The tearing down and ripping out phase of the project is painful because we’re living houses.

I remember sitting with a group of men and meditating on the question, “Are you in a spiritual season of demolition or construction?”  I had spent the last several years enduring the Spirit’s reciprocating saw, crow bar and sledge hammer. I thought, “Surely God has moved to the new construction phase.” The next day a crane showed up swinging a wrecking ball.

A week after that the Spirit jacked up my house and started in on the foundation--the foundation! That’s not just painful. It’s embarrassing to go out in public with your house jacked up and your faulty foundation exposed.

The Spirit’s remodeling project is so disruptive and so extensive because God’s work of transformation is so dramatic. If we could see His blueprints and His plans for each of us–His living houses–we would be utterly amazed.

The fact is, God has told us what He’s up to. He’s shown us the Model Home–the majestic, breathtaking, spectacular, incomparably glorious Castle that is His Son.

If Jesus is the Model Home, shouldn’t we expect some major renovation?

4 thoughts on “Remodeling a Living House

  1. Thanks for another great post Dave. As I read this I got the picture of myself being like a renegade hippie, tied to a tree at the front of my living house with a sign protesting the demolition 🙂 But this post challenges me to get down from my tree, get out of the way and let God commence the work that must be done. Oh and by the way, I love the cartoon 🙂

    • Graham, I love your word picture! Seeing yourself as a hippie protestor–that’s hilarious! 🙂 And accurate. I never thought of it in those terms before, but I know I’ve been there, too. Thanks for your reply. You made my evening 🙂

  2. Dave, this post is inspired and simply wonderful. I love how you express the deeper issues in such accessible ways. I am like a very insistent interior designer (who is not even qualified!) who keeps offering God all sorts of fantastic ideas, following him around with a clipboard, carpet samples and paint swatches. Far from taking my advice, God makes it clear I am rather getting in the way!
    Saving this post for future reference!
    Oh and I had a good laugh at Graham’s comment too… 🙂

    • The insistent interior designer offering suggestions–another great word picture, Susannah! I tend to forget who is directing the renovation of my house, too. 🙂 Thank you for contributing your insights. And I appreciate your good encouragement.

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