We are happy first-time homeowners, and after settling in for the first few months, have been avidly watching lots of how-to and DIY home repair and renovation shows and videos as we start to tackle some projects around our new (to us!) home. We really enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to do things ourselves, and its usually way more economical than paying a professional to do it. I love the feeling of success when you finally get it right! Lately our projects have been relatively small, but I have my eyes set on a few bigger ones for the future….I’m channeling my inner Joanna Gaines and maybe daydreaming just a little…
When you’re doing a project, or completing a repair, you usually start with a picture in your head of what you’re shooting for, right? (i.e. think, a toilet that actually flushes!!…or a patio planter, or a kitchen remodel…) Then you really have 2 choices – you can blindly forge ahead on your own, figuring out the process as you go, hoping to get it right, or you can take advantage of the millions of resources available to you out there that will help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure a higher rate of success (YouTube University, anyone?!). I am stubborn and usually am right down the middle of those two options – starting on my own, and then looking for answers when I get stuck. I know the best choice is option 2, I just choose to be stubborn. If you don’t seek out the wisdom of others who have done it before or know what they’re doing, you may just cost yourself extra time and money and still not have the finished product you needed or wanted!
Now, I am the person who would have been at the feet of Jesus soaking up all of the parables and going, “OH! Now I get it!!”. My mind just works that way, and parables and word pictures bring things to life for me. I woke up with this correlation in my mind the other day, and so share it in case someone else’s mind works that way too! With all that is going on in the world, I’ve had many opportunities for conversations about faith and spiritual maturity lately, and God reminded me that our faith walk is not a total DIY type of thing. He gives us the picture of the final product – living daily in His peace, experiencing His abundant life, and ultimately us made holy in His presence in heaven one day, but He doesn’t leave us on our own to blindly fumble along in the dark as we try to make it there on our own. We have choices to make, absolutely, but He gives us so many things to help us on our journey that we are never on our own!
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.Deuteronomy 31:6
The very first thing God gave us was Jesus, His very own Son. John 14:6 says that Jesus IS “the Way and the Truth and the Life” and that no one can get to God without Him. Jesus is the vital key that makes that final picture possible! Without Him, there would be no possible reconciliation of us to the Father, and there is absolutely nothing we could do about that. Our part here is to accept this amazing gift, but it is God that created the salvation for His children as the greatest act of love and provision.
After He gave us the Way, He left us with the Holy Spirit after Jesus no longer walked the Earth in physical form. John 14 describes the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Holy Trinity, as a helper, or an advocate – one who is the Spirit of Truth and teaches the Scripture. This is such a supernatural help, one that we often refuse to accept or claim access to. We have one within us who convicts, teaches, and instructs us and is always helping, never leaving us to our own power – we have only to ask and we have the Holy Spirit working in, through, and for us. How amazing that the Father gave us such a power!
God then gave us His Word, which is an amazing gift of truth, instruction and wisdom! He says that the Bible is “alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). In the descriptions of the armor of God, those items and attributes that we need in order to battle the enemy, the word of God is described as the “sword” – the one weapon we have in our arsenal! Such an important part of our faith journey! We don’t have to “do battle” on our own – we have the power of the word of God on our side for all that life brings. Again, our part here is to be intentional about spending time in the Bible so that we know what it says and have it readily available in our hearts and minds.
And last, but absolutely not least, God gifted us with the power of prayer – an open line of communication through the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ to God the Father, the creator of the universe. God wants to hear from us, wants us to demonstrate our dependence on Him, and says that if only we ask, “it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9). He also says “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16) – how amazing is it that we can talk to God?! And that He hears us and answers us? If you stop to really think about that, it’s a little mindblowing! So, talk to Him! Ask! Give Him praise! Talk to Him about your heart! You have been given an amazing gift of intimacy with the Father – accept it, and allow His power to flow through your life as you live in close relationship with Him.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
We are not in this alone! God is in the business of perfecting us, making us holy and transforming our lives, hearts and minds. We have only to ask, to receive the things that He has already so graciously given us, and to really tap into the power of the God who loves us – we are not alone on this faith journey, but we can sure feel like it if we don’t lay hold of the gifts that God has laid at our feet. We can rely on Him as we journey in our faith and He will be faithful to His promises of peace, abundant life, blessings of the fruits of the Spirit and an eternity with Him. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone! You have the supernatural power of the God of the universe available to you! Don’t try to DIY!