“God aims first to renew man’s darkened spirit by imparting life to it, because it is this spirit which God originally designed to receive His life and to commune with Him. God’s intent after that is to work out from the spirit to permeate man’s soul and body.”
This is a picture of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, GA. It is obvious upon first glance that the Cathedral is getting a bit of a facelift. If you ever travel much, especially to larger urban cities, particularly in Europe, you will certainly notice those buildings that are in the process of being restored, remodeled, renewed. The scaffolding is usually put up and immediately the entire surface is covered with a type of “drapery” film that usually has an image of the restored building or some sort of advertising. Seems the “powers that be” consider the draped film more attractive for viewers rather than the unsightly scaffolding–as the work is now going on under and behind the scenes.
Personally I think I prefer the scaffolding as I have the opportunity of seeing the actual work taking place. Drapery or scaffolding, either way, the look can be a bit unsettling especially when you walk up to the building expecting to see a historical, lovely and stately piece of architecture, but rather, you are met by a giant blanket or metal contraption.
It’s all about restoration. Whereas we may not be covered in scaffolding and drapery, we too get to the point where we need to be restored—we need some “work”—-and I’m not necessarily talking about the outside physical restoration that many seem to think so necessary such as a literal facelift, tummy tuck, a little augmentation here or there (see the post “These feet were made for Love”–March 27th regarding western culture’s obsession with physical appearance). Outside work has its place I suppose, especially as we may need to tone up and perhaps lose a little added weight, but it is the internal condition that is my focus today.
The restoration I speak of is what is needed on the “inside”–within our very being and soul if you will. I love this quote by Watchman Nee. He reminds us that it is indeed our spirit which is intended to be that which is receiving of God’s Spirit–however, we cannot do this if we are in poor shape. If our soul is dark or dim, if we have allowed ourselves to be swallowed up by our external lives without addressing our internal condition, then we are in no shape to receive, nor may we receive, the light of God. So the work must begin..and that work is not always what we think or believe necessary.
Restoration and renewal is a lifelong process as we are never where we truly need to be– which just means we are constantly having to have “a little work” done—that little analogy of God being the potter and us being the clay—as He gently and constantly works to form and shape us, most often having to always begin again and again.
I think I am glad that I am never where I exactly need to be–because I have yet to find myself to be “perfectly” complete. I may become comfortable and “situated” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m in a “good” place—there’s time for some “work”…a little remodeling.
I am greatly encouraged knowing that God is constantly at work on me, He never seems to throw His hands up in the air in frustration and walk off exclaiming that I am simply impossible to work with—which I know too often is actually the truth….but persevere He does—working, remodeling, repairing, polishing, preparing all that is within me, so that I may not only receive His light but that I may in turn reflect His light to others,
Here is to the remodeling of self and soul— just please excuse the mess as I am a work in progress!!