Did you ever watch Extreme Home Makeover? In this reality show starring Ty Pennington, a team would swoop down upon a house desperately in need of rehab, and transform it into a structure that was barely recognizable. The renovation team’s first step was to determine the goal. What were the needs of the family they were working with? What was the desired end product?
Next, they must evaluate. Everything from the foundation up would be carefully assessed. Without a good foundation, nothing above it would remain standing long-term either! Then the walls, interior, plumbing, electrical, and all other components of the house would be scrutinized. Once the team had determined what could be salvaged and what must go, a plan of action could be developed.
With the goal in mind and plan in hand, the strenuous and dirty work of demolition could commence. Perhaps the most challenging part of the process, it was muscle straining, messy, and backbreaking labor. A walkthrough at this stage might give the impression that no progress was a being made. In fact, things appeared worse rather than better!
Once demolition was complete and debris removed, construction could begin. By the end of the process, the structure had been completely re-invented!
Might this brief description of the process of renovating a physical structure offer insight into the Extreme Makeover of the spirit and mind? As it is in the physical, so in the spiritual.
After all, the Bible does reveal that our minds must be renewed, or we could say “renovated.”.
Rom_12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Having become a new creation in Him, a process of deconstruction and reconstruction commences. First, a goal must be established. Is a right relationship with God on your shortlist? Is your goal to become a godly person, friend, and parent? Is your desire to walk in step with Him instead of against Him? Would you like Him to lead you each step of the way?
Whatever your goals, you will need to review them often. During Extreme Home Makeover, blueprints and schematics were posted prominently at the worksite. It was crucial for the plans to be readily available to ensure the project remained on course. Not everything would be happening at once. The foundation must be laid and cured before walls could go up. Walls must be up before electrical and plumbing could be run. Spiritual renovation happens in phases as well. Although we have a Master Builder Who far outshines Ty Pennington, posting our spiritual renovation plan will be reassuring. Especially during the uncomfortable deconstruction phase, we may need to be reminded that our Builder has a goal and a plan and is doing what is necessary to ensure the integrity of the finished product.
Along the way, there will be fatigue, sadness, discouragement, and even tears. Breaking away from your familiar past is never without discomfort; much like birth is not without pain. But the result in both cases is – LIFE! Just as labor pains signal that birth is imminent, the pain and discomfort you will experience during this spiritual reset are not only okay but signal that you are moving away from the old and towards the new! Being squeezed in the birth canal is not comfortable, but it is profitable! It’s all part of the demolition process before rebuilding can begin!
Then, step two – evaluate. What is salvageable, and what must go? Are the thoughts that regularly course through your mind pure? Are they tearing down or building up others? Could they be rightly considered righteous and yet not self righteous? Are they moving you closer to your goals? What about what you view via videos or online? Are you being exposed to things of Light, or elements of Darkness? Have you reviewed the language you use and the friendships you maintain? Remember your goals. Are you supporting and protecting those things that are compatible with your desired outcome? Are you tearing down unhealthy strongholds?
Some determinations will be easy to make. Ty Pennington’s team could quickly establish that the broken down front door was built using inferior materials in the first place and should be discarded. Likewise, you have always known that some elements of your former lifestyle were not constructed with quality materials. They have no place in your renovated heart and mind.
In some cases, not much is found to be worth keeping. Even that which is determined to be salvageable will need to be carefully inspected and sanitized and/or repaired before it will be suitable for use in the renewed structure. Allowing unholy content to take up residence in our hearts and minds without challenge is no less deadly than turning a blind eye to aggressive cancer cells rapidly multiplying in our bodies. Years of spiritual junk food and ungodly living will eventually culminate in a diseased soul! And yet, do not despair! God is an expert at redeeming that which seems hopelessly lost! His specialty is transforming trash into treasure!
One of the most critical steps, as we move forward, is to inspect our foundation. If our life is not built upon God’s Word, it rests upon a crumbling base and will not hold up under stress. (Matthew 7:24-27) The old cracked and sinking foundation must be broken up and hauled away before a new one can be laid. This process of tearing down the former begins by listening to the Holy Spirit as He convicts us about building materials that must go! We begin to build a new structure by developing a habit of not only reading God’s word but meditating upon it. “Meditating on the Word” should NOT conjure up an image of sitting cross-legged on the floor with eyes closed and fingertips touching, clearing your mind of all thoughts as you hum and invite a spirit guide in! Don’t ever forget that spirits of darkness exist also! The only “spirit” you should invite into your heart and mind is God’s Holy Spirit! And “clearing your mind can be dangerous!
Luke 11:24-26 24″When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Do not just remove the ungodly. REPLACE it with the GODLY! Meditating on the Word means to read a passage slowly and consider what it means for you and how you are to incorporate its instructions into your life. Turn it over and over in your mind. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. That is His job, after all. (John 16:13)
To begin our Extreme Mind and Heart Makeover, we will use Philippians 4:8 as our foundation.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report. If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Starting with truth, we will proceed through the passage as we learn what the King of the Universe says we should concentrate upon. This will help us evaluate where we are and what renovation needs to take place. The more we think upon a thing, the more it becomes part of who we are. And that results in the renewing of the mind!
This week, let’s begin by looking at a few verses about truth. You might even consider memorizing one or two and meditating upon them as you evaluate what is is in your heart and mind and coming out of your mouth.
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
VERSES ABOUT TRUTH:
Psalms 25:5 Lead me in your truth and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation. On You do I wait all of the day.
Psalms 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden parts You shall make me know wisdom.
Psalms 86:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord. I will walk in Your truth. Make my heart fear Your name.
Psalms 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments have I laid before me. dlocked0 List T