There is nothing like a freshly painted room. Our weekend project was to transform my very own office from a tired, faded yellow to an exciting, electric blue. At first I was scared and mulled over different color options and accent wall choices, but then we just decided to go for it! It was so liberating to see the yellow go and watch this new blue light up the room. This new paint job spoke of transformation, a fresh start, and making things new, and I knew it was the right decision.
After we were finished, I couldn’t help but waltz by my office as often as possible and just casually allow the new color catch me by surprise. New things are so much fun, whether it’s a new book to explore, a new outfit to wear, or even a new addition to the family. But even more important than searching for new things on this earth, we must also remember the promise of God who continually makes us new from the deepest part of our being.
I came across this quote from the author Bob Goff this week, and it spoke to me of the newness that God offers, that we so often reject,
“We spend a lot of time memorizing failures God spent a lot of love saying we could forget.”
Our souls cry out for the newness that Christ offers us, but so many of the voices around us tell us that we should focus on the old – dwelling on our failures and the ways we fall short. While it is true that we must have humble hearts and understand the sinful ways we have come from, true life comes when we embrace the new life instead of dwelling on the old. God performed an amazing act of love and, in turn, we are made new. Because of Christ, we are victorious over sin and death. Like a new paint job, Christ wants to speak his newness and freshness over our lives. This is what gives him glory.
I don’t know about you all, but there are so many times when I get caught up with my old paint job. As I look around me, I see the ugly way it reflects in the light, the mistakes made years ago when it was first painted, and the wrong brush stroke that keeps creeping again and again. I see the bad habits I have, the mistakes I have made throughout the day, and sometimes this bad paint job dictates my day and the way I feel about myself. Again, I am not saying we should just brush past the things we have done wrong, but we can’t stay there our whole lives. That is not what we were created for.
In Psalm 50, the author mourns over the way the Israelites disobeyed God, but also corrects the way they have been responding to their sins by continually offering sacrifices in order to make up for them.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.”
The Psalmist goes on to convey that God actually doesn’t need their sacrifices. He owns all the earth and everything in it. They are missing the whole point. He is God over every creature on earth, he has authority and they seemed to be missing it. They were focusing on making things better themselves through sacrifices, but their hearts seemed to be far from God. So, the writer goes on to convey what God actually wants in their efforts to try and please him through sacrifices.
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
and I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
No matter how many times we try and clean up that old paint job with our own two hands, it will still be an old paint job. We need an overhaul. We need to call on God in our times of distress and weakness. He wants to meet us where we are and make us new. And as we open ourselves to His transformation, He is the one who does the good and perfect work, and He is the one who receives the glory.
It is so easy for us to get caught up in what we are not, and to focus on how far we have fallen from our image of the perfect woman we have in our minds. We compare ourselves to others and mourn over our imperfections trying to wish them away. I know I can get caught up in these things when I continue to make the same mistakes and vow to try harder next time. I promise I will do better God, I won’t make that same mistake again. But I forget that it’s not about me. It’s not about how hard I try or my own futile efforts to do better and to be better. If that is my focus, then I will continue to fall short and continue to live with my old paint job.
But that’s just silly because that is not where I have to live. God is waiting to offer life and newness from my fallen ways. He doesn’t want me to dwell on them, he wants to transform them and shine through them because he is God and I am not. He is worthy and I am not. He is where I find my newness and worth, not in the things I have done, or the things I promise I will try and do. I must turn to the Lord, and like the creatures John saw in Revelation, I must cry out,
“You are worthy, our Lord and God
to receive glory and honor and power
for you created all things
and by your will they were
created and have their being.”
Join me this week in embracing the One who is worthy. May we allow Him to create new things in us, for He is where we find our being and true life. The old paint job may try and seep through and remind you of where you fall short, but instead of focusing there, cry out to God. Focus on his love that has overcome that old paint job and welcomes you into His marvelous, fresh, and brand new light.