Extreme Makeover in Our Christian Life
We start a new lesson a series of Bible studies. That the title of this study is called Extreme Makeover: Experiencing God in all the spaces of our Christian Life. Then let us consider these questions first: How incredible would it be too be able to experience God 24/7, in every aspect of life? Is that really possible? YES!
God is everywhere; all the time! Amen?! But do we notice Him everywhere and all the time? The greatest challenge in our spiritual journey is to become aware of God in all the spaces and places of our lives. Everything can be a spiritual experience not a “religious experience” but a “God-experience.” The challenge is to learn to be in rhythm and “in-tune” with God who is a part of our every moment and allow Him to shape our everyday experiences. And when we are attentive and aware of God in our everyday moments then we can experience daily transformation.
This series came to mind from a 2002 ABC show called Extreme Makeover Home Edition where that they had teams that completely remodel homes for folks who had significant needs.
There’s something so much greater than watching a person get a makeover or a house remodeled on TV. God invites each of us to join him in the true reality of experiencing Him in an Extreme Makeover in our hearts that is just as real as the makeovers that do occur in rocky points in our lives.
God wants to do a remodeling job on us. He wants to see us experience continual transformation. He wants to tear down the old cardboard walls of anger and bad habits that we do daily. Yes, God wants to brighten the dark corners of our hearts. God and His Son wants to replace the old broken habits and bad behaviors with a way of living life that really works. God’s Son is an awesome construction foreman reconstructing our hearts. However, the dramatic changes that God wants don’t begin on the outside, but rather on the inside and that is why the construction foreman moves in. The extreme makeover is all internal. Real transformation of our lives only happens when we deeply connect with God’s Spirit on a daily basis.
Here are some interview questions to see if we need a spiritual makeover.
Do you go through your week rarely thinking about or having a real conversation with God? Then you are in need of an Extreme Makeover in your soul.
Do you sense you are out of sync with God?
Then you are in need of an Extreme Makeover in your soul.
Are you the same person today that you were even a month ago?
Then you are you in need of an Extreme Makeover in your Christian life?
Are you in a rut?
Are you bored and apathetic about Christian life?
Then you are in need of an Extreme Makeover in your soul.
Do you find people to be interruptions, circumstances to be continually frustrating, conversations unfulfilling and relationships to be draining? Then you need an Extreme Makeover of your soul.
Most of us sense that we lack something in our lives. We are empty. All of us would admit there is something lacking in our spiritual lives. What’s lacking or missing? We aren’t sure. But we try what I call the “Filling Project.” We try and fill the emptiness with activity: do more (go to church, join a group, and serve), give more, read the Bible more, and pray more. But we still sense we are missing something.
We are in a spiritual project that should be called “Spiritual Formation”. Spiritual formation is where that God reforming us and Jesus being formed in us by the Holy Spirit. The first tool we need to use in our extreme maker is in a spiritual project that is awareness, spiritual awareness. Awareness is paying attention. We all as Christians have trouble “paying attention” to God; because, in our daily stuff work, chores, conversations, decisions, encounters with people, and there is more much more in paying attention to God.
The more that we pay attention to God the more that He transforms us in this extreme makeover. And Jesus is our model for an extreme makeover. We see it over and over in the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. But I want to first consider by looking at one incident in His life that really gives a deep spiritual sense of how Jesus was in constant connection with God and His Father shaped His daily experience. For example, Jesus had just healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews
persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” John 5:16-17
There’s a huge thing going on here. Jesus healed a man who hadn’t walked in 38 years – WOW! However, Jesus did this on the Sabbath. The religious leaders in Jesus day tried to connect with God through rules and ritual that were written in the law of Moses. The purpose of the Sabbath was in that day that a person had to stop work and reflect on how good God is, connect with him and reaffirm our commitment to him.
So, the religious leaders had made a ton of rules and regulation about how to keep the Sabbath. Does this sound familiar to you “Do this and don’t do that!” They kept the rules and missed God, and therefore, today within our traditional teaching it might be safe in saying that we call this hollow ritual or religion. According to these religious leaders, Jesus did things that broke their rules He healed people on the Sabbath, He allowed His disciples to pick grain in the field on the Sabbath and so on.
How dare Jesus break the rules of His community? Jesus wasn’t just a rebel or a
Lawbreaker? Jesus was AWARE of God at work in a given situation. When Jesus saw that God, His Father, was up to something, He joined in too! God did not want that man to suffer a day longer. Therefore, Jesus was more aware of what God wanted and was doing than these pretentious religious leaders by their man-made rules.
Notice: that Jesus relationship with God is close and intimate. For Jesus said many times; “My Father.” not “the” Father, not “our” Father – but “MY” Father. We continue.
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:18-19
Jesus was so connected to God that he saw himself as a joined-at-the-hip partner. He sees God at work all around him. And he follows God’s leading. Whatever God does, Jesus does because he already sees God at work in a situation. Jesus is just imitating God. That’s powerful awareness. He is so aware that he can’t do anything without God.
Jesus perpetually was asking and looking for whatever God was up to doing in any given encounter. For Jesus, every experience was touched by God’s influence. That’s the goal of our lives also.
Let’s be practical. Is God at work in our lives every moment: Yes or No? Yes! Even if we are not aware of it, that doesn’t change the truth that he is with us.
We are having a conversation with a friend, co-worker or class-mate. Do we look for what God is up to in that moment? Are we attentive to what God is doing? How would we imitate that? It might be that God wants us to encourage the person with a kind word. Or open a door to a deeper conversation of the soul talking about fears, insecurities, etc. Or in practical ways serve the person.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your
amazement he will show him even greater things than these. John 5:20
God deeply loves us. While we are not Jesus, God’s ONLY Son, we are to be like Jesus. We are God’s children. He loves us.
And God promises he will show up and do some amazing things. God is about creating WOW in our lives. He is willing to do things far greater than we are usually willing to even imagine or see!
God is talking.
Are we listening?
God is doing stuff all around us.
Do we notice? Extreme Makeover is Personal