How God Rebuilds Your Life from the Inside Out

When was the last time you tackled a renovation project? Perhaps you remodeled your kitchen, redid your bathroom, or repurposed something in the backyard. Either way, we all know what it is to take something that feels old and make it new. God loves renovation projects, and His favorite is you. Scripture uses a fascinating word in Colossians 3:10

“And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

The Greek word for renew is anakainóō, which is where we get our English word, renovation. So many people settle for old habits and patterns from their old lifestyles, yet this is not the way God wants us to live. How can Paul so confidently say that we have “put on the new self?” It is because salvation is a new beginning. Listen to the way Paul describes it,

 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When you think about your lifestyle, is your daily life lived in the newness of Christ, or do you find yourself reverting back to old ways? What I appreciate about Colossians 3:10 is that it is an ongoing renewal. God wants to renovate the new self continuously. It is common for families to live in the same house for many years but continuously update it. This is the same way of thinking. So, how exactly does God desire to renovate us? 

Ripping Out the Old

I planted the church I pastor in 2001 with less than ten people. We had no financial backing, and to say we were poor was an understatement. A few years into the work, we were able to acquire a downtown warehouse and convert it into a church. The problem was that it was 17,000 square feet, and we could not afford the flooring. Do you know the cheapest place to buy carpet in the United States? It is Dalton, Georgia. We went to Dalton and purchased the cheapest carpet they made.  The problem with such cheap carpet is that you cannot get the stain out anytime there is a spill. So you can imagine all the cups of coffee, hot chocolate, and other beverages that, over time, stained our incredibly cheap carpet.

Over time, God blessed the church, and more and more families began showing up. Today, over one thousand call Preaching Christ Church their home. I cannot express to you how excited I was when we replaced all of our carpet. This time, it wasn’t cheap carpet from Georgia. It was movie theater grade, high traffic, beautiful, commercial carpet. I have never felt so good as when we ripped the old carpet out. When everything was removed from the auditorium, I was taken aback by just how stained the old carpet was. 

I think about those stains when I read Colossians 3:5. Paul lists several things that can stain our lives. “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” I can remember how embarrassed I felt over the old carpet in our auditorium. Perhaps some of these sins have brought shame and embarrassment to you. It may be that these stains have hindered your praying or preventing you from pursuing God the way you should. Stains have a way of doing that. 

Who God Says You Are

Who among us has not blown it from time to time? King David said it like this,

 “Lord if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?” Psalm 130:3 NLT

It is fascinating to me that although each of us has been stained by sin, God still calls us “chosen ones, holy and beloved” (Colossians 3:12). For weeks, I had met with Jessica. She was a young mom who couldn’t accept forgiveness. I counseled and prayed with her, but no matter what, forgiveness seemed unattainable. Once again, I explained how God was eager to forgive her past. I could hear the weariness in her voice as she explained, “My problem is not with God. It is that I cannot forgive myself.” It was then that I asked her a question that changed her life. “Are you more powerful than God?” She had a mixed expression between shock and disgust. “Of course not. Why would you think that?” “Well, if God Almighty is both able and willing to forgive you, but you will not forgive yourself, isn’t that kind of saying that you are more powerful than God?” It was then the spiritual light bulb came on. She saw it for the first time. She graciously and humbly forgave herself and fully embraced God’s forgiveness. 

Renovating by Replacing

Counseling is a large part of pastoral ministry. I love shepherding people, and I average about two hundred counseling sessions per year. I often see people who want God to work in their lives and smooth out their rough patches, yet so many do not allow God to complete His work. They stop short. 

While I was relieved the day we ripped out the old stained carpet from the church, it was not enough to simply remove the old. Something new had to come in its place. I can remember how that large auditorium echoed with only concrete floors. It felt so empty. Something new had to replace the old. The project was not complete until the new carpet was installed. 

So it is in our lives. It is not enough to do better and try to be better. Your self-will, good intentions, or even determination may be able to rip out some old things, but only the work of God can replace it with the new. If Paul describes the old in Colossians 3:5, he is going to tell us the new in Colossians 3:12-14

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

What does God want to renovate in you? Be assured that whatever He rips out, He plans to put in better. The question is, will you allow Him? Sometimes, we fail to realize that God’s plans for us are better than the plans we have for ourselves. The promise still stands,

 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Photo Credit: Image created using DALL.E 2024  AI technology and subsequently edited and reviewed by our editorial team.

Chad Roberts is the founder and lead pastor of Preaching Christ Church. He is the author and Bible teacher for Awakened to Grace. He has authored Calling on the Name of the Lord, Awakened to Grace, and He’s in the Waiting. He has traveled through forty countries, sharing the Gospel, and training leaders. When the unexpected storm of blindness slammed into Chad’s life in 2018, he had a decision to make. He could resign to the life of disability or he could go forward trusting God with the unknown. He could not have continued on without the support of his amazing wife of over fifteen years, Sadie. Their four children, Piper, Emmy, Hudson, and John Mark, are their greatest joys. They live just outside the Great Smoky Mountains in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Chad’s pastoral career has not been defined by blindness. Rather, it is his clear, biblical teaching that continues to grow an audience. He has traveled through forty nations, training pastors and strengthening churches.

Today, Chad teaches people to trust a God they cannot see. His days are filled with the things he loves most: leading, speaking, writing, and of course, coffee! He is a spiritual content creator. By God’s grace, he is emerging as a trusted spiritual voice in people’s lives. Chad may have blindness, but blindness does not have him.

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