fbpx

3 Keys to Renovating Your Life for 2013

Don’t Do This, This Year…

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2)”

 
     Every one of us has experienced setting a goal or making a New Year’s Resolution at least once in our lives, yes? Some of us have become so jaded by the experience of failing at the “eat better, read the Bible more, get in shape” routine that we don’t even bother anymore. Others are amazing goal-setters and have a complete Life Blueprint binder sitting on your desk at arm’s reach.

People Watching?
     “Watch my weight”, “watch my mouth”,  “watch less TV”… Resolutions often have the “watch” word in them. While were at it, who doesn’t like to watch a good episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” or “Restaurant Impossible” or “What Not To Wear”? Chances are, you’ve been sucked into one of these shows by the whole “before” and “after” theme that makes grown adults scream like children “Move… That… Bus!!!” and then cry like babies when they see the finished result. We love to watch the reaction of the people whose lives have now been changed forever…

     We’d all love to be one of those people, wouldn’t we? What if we already are?

Lost in Translation… 

…at the Home Depot Checkout

     Recently as I was reading Romans 12:2 I saw something I hadn’t noticed as vividly as before. We’ve talked before about the word “suschematidzo” – to conform. It’s a word that’s used only twice in the NT and both times as an “avoid doing this”. Don’t be conformed any longer… You’re free – be free. Sounds like a good resolution, right?

     Unfortunately, the NIV – one of the most popular translations – renders another word rather weakly and causes us to lose significant impact from this verse. The word “metamorphosis” comes from the word rendered “transformed”. A better translation of that word alone could really give this verse some deep-sinking teeth, no? But, the word that really jumped off the page for me is the word turned into “renewed”. Wimpy word. The Greek for this word is “renovation”.

    Astounded yet?

    I understand. Before you tune out all disappointed, let’s compare the two words at the checkout counter at Home Depot. Cool?

     You walk into Home Depot and Frank greets you at the door. “Finding everything you need?” 
You: “I’ve got to renew a room in my house. What have you got?”
Frank: “Paint counter’s right over there.”
You: “Thanks, Frank.”

     Total Cost: $22.45 and a couple hours taping, cutting, and painting. Room renewed.
     Impact: Whatever.

     You see where we’re going here, right? There’s a huge difference between “renew” and “renovate”. How radically different would your conversation with Frank be if you told him you needed to renovate a room?

Four Things About Renovation… and then Three Keys
    Having done hundreds of home theater jobs, flat panel TV and surround sound installations, and been around contractors and home owners for over a thousand hours, I can tell you four things about virtually every renovation I’ve ever seen:

  • They always take longer than planned.
  • They cost more than planned.
  • Create a bigger mess than you ever dreamed.
  • You appreciate the finished product far more than any other human being ever can.

     So, why “renew” when you can “renovate”? Why renew, when you’ve been commanded to renovate “so that you may be able to test and approve God’s good pleasing and perfect will”? Why would you settle for less than the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God… if it’s there for the asking? Most of the time it’s because the mess of the demolition, the cost of the job, and the ever expanding time line give you a pit in the stomach.

     Scripture tells us to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self”, “renovate”. This means demolishing a lot of old patterns, old ways, familiar habits, and developing a Spirit-led habit of saying “no” to the flesh. 

  1. Fast & pray – Fasting is telling the flesh “no” for a prolonged period of time so that we may “sow to the spirit”. Each year, our home church does a 21-day Daniel Fast. For great resources to help you on your way, go to “http://danielfast.wordpress.com/”. Or, contact us and we’d love to share stories and help you plan for your first 3 day, 7 day, or even 21 day fast.
  2. Renovate, not renew – Your mindset going into the fast is as simple as this: are you asking God to inform your conscience of the things He desires to do in and through you from this point forward or are you begging Him to lock arms with you as you seek to put to death the flesh and renovate your mind/life/past? Resolve to renovate. It will cost more, take more time, but in the end be worth it.
  3. Be accountable – Left to ourselves, we can justify anything. My blood pressure spiked a few weeks ago and I immediately sent out an email to 5 guys in my life that will hold my feet to the fire about diet, exercise, and workflow management. Today, I’m down 9 points on both sides of the “/”. If you’re not in close accountability with a group or individual, you’re prone to drift off course or quit altogether.

     “I pray that He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Don’t settle for slapping a new coat of paint on your life. Renovate. He commanded you.

Happy Metamorphosis!!!
in Christ,

AP

Christian Clusters & the 57th Floor – Daniel Diaddigo

Great post from Daniel Diaddigo’s recent email newsletter. Had to pass it on to our readers. Great insight for living.

In Christ,

AP

“Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12;2
This world has a pattern to it. I’m watching this pattern from the lobby of the Chase tower in Chicago.

      The pattern repeats itself in leather satchels and smart, form fitting business skirts. Over there is a guy waving his arm to make an important point – he’s on the phone.

      I’m people watching in the lobby because I’m early for a meeting on the 57th floor.  The world says this is a good thing – to be on the 57th floor. Because the 57th floor is the top floor and important things happen at the top. This is the world’s pattern, the one the apostle Paul referred to in the twelfth chapter of his letter to the Romans.

      Don’t misunderstand – we need to be excellent in all we do. We need to practice our crafts as living sacrifices to God. This is how we worship, but the world’s pattern diverts us to pursue worthless things. The exchange that runs the top floor trades acceptance for performance and rewards for pleasing men and owning things.

Easy to describe – not so easy to avoid.

      I’ve known men who believe that avoiding the world’s pattern means checking out of the system. They think they’re coming out of Babylon. I think they’re mostly going into hiding, lights under bowls – Christian clusters fueled by fear and self-absorption.

      Jesus engaged the world system in hand-to-hand combat and so should we. The battle, the Apostle Paul tells us, is not “out there”.  It’s between your ears. Paul says renewal, not retraction, is the remedy to the world’s pull.

“[B]e transformed by the renewing of your mind.

      Does your thought life follow the world’s pattern? When your heart speaks does it agree with the top floor? Do you trade pieces of your soul in order to go higher?

      We’ve all heard the sermons – you renew your mind by replacing bad habits with good ones. Change gossip for encouragement. Trade the internet for Scripture. Replace worry with prayer.  All good – but I think missing the center.

      Look at verse 1.  It’s the set up for what’s next. 

“[I]n view of God’s mercy…”

      My attention has been fastened to these words all week. I can’t get past them. The verses that proceed layout God’s pattern.

      Fifty-seven floors is so, so very small when I consider the height and depth and breadth of God’s love for me. When I hold His mercy in view, how can I find satisfaction in anything else? No wonder everything else seems so empty! No wonder all those people are scrambling for the top. They know there’s more.

      And the world tells them (and us) that “more” is higher, always higher. Work harder. Another compromise, another floor – until you reach the top. That’s where life is.

      Do you want to renew your mind? Command the eyes of your soul to fix themselves upon Jesus until His mercy burns a silhouette into the fabric of your being.

      Really, truly, there is nothing else!

      In view of God’s mercy, we don’t have to search for life through the world’s pattern.

      We don’t have to squeeze out performance or pander to please men. Jesus has already performed for us and God is now pleased with us. He has saved us from the top floor.