Restoration often begins with Demolition
There is a little church that I pass by several times during the week. I do not know anything about the church or the people who attend there but I do know they have had some building issues. A while back I noticed their steeple removed and thought perhaps they were replacing it. However no sign of replacement ever surfaced and the removed plain steeple just sat out on the edge of their parking lot creating only a passing curiosity in myself.
Earlier this week, however, itÂ was shockingÂ to notice that the front of the little brick church around its main door and along the steps that lead into its main structure was totally removed. Removed were the brick and left exposed was old wood that appeared not to be in the best of shape. It seems that some restoration isÂ in order. As the week progressed more tearing out ensuedÂ to the little church to the point that it seemed to overwhelm the front and created the stark appearance of demolition instead of any type of restoration. IÂ am happy however to report that as the week ended it is obvious that the church is in a restoration phase to bring forth its former glory.
Restoration is a curious thing. It takes a special insight to recognize that some things are just too important and valuable to destroy and that restoration is a better plan than destruction. Sean McMullen, a renovator in CO understands the vast importance of restoration. Among Sean’s restoration projects is the magnificent restoration of St. Andrew Avellino Church.
McMullen first heard of the plight of the St. Andrew Avellino Church in an article in the Pagosa Sun. When he took on the project the building had cracks between the boards and rotting wood. It is what can happen when over time the attention to maintenance becomes lackingÂ and repairs are not made. This particular building suffered fromÂ vandals, bullet holes riddle the walls, and fire damage by delinquents and vagrants was obvious. McMullen moved the building to begin the restoration project.
Restoration begins, much like the little church up the road, which is by disassembling the parts and then reconstructing it. Through care and diligence McMullen has successfully restored the old church to its former glory, not by replacing elements with cheap imitations of the current world, but by careful restoration using time-honored traditions. The church is now restored with a good name of distinction with all the glory of its beginnings.
This week our focus verse is one that points to restoration. The restoration needs thatÂ each one of us that belong to God has. It is a message of hope for the ultimate restoration of a new day that will bring forth honored blessings where all wrong things will become righted. The comfort of hope is found in knowing that no matter what lies in the past, issues that are presently occurring, or what may happen in the future; on the day of restoration they will be no more. Problems will no longer occur and all issues will be forgotten. This will be a new day; a new day of restoration when God will bless all of His people.
Restoration though takes work that is sometimes not easy. For the job of restoration to gleam with the original beauty it is often accompanied with hard work and sacrifice. Restoration though is possible for all believers by gathering together, praying, and walking humbly with God to do what is right while listening to the message of hope regarding the new world to come. This week our focus verse is Zephaniah 3:20;
On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord have spoken! (NLT)
The Steps to Restoration
Restoration projects begin with the inside structure. This is why so often when these types of projects begin; the outside appearances are not so pretty to look upon. However with careful diligence a transformation will begin to take forth on the outside. The same is true with the needed restoration of our relationship with God. The reform is not merely an outward show but a true changing of our hearts and lives to reflect quality restoration.
The benefits of restoration are not just a means to an end found in eternity but in the peace and comfort given as the project moves forward. True and ongoing maintenance restoration will allow us to focus on the hope and overcome the often overwhelming circumstances of life. This continued restoration project puts God first in all aspects of our life and ceases the divide between sacred and secular.
Where should a restoration project begin? From the foundation to the roofing, we must be diligent in fine-tuning and making repairs in our restoration of our relationship with God. It begins from the inside out and focuses first on structural elements before moving to outside appearances.
6 Steps to Maintain the Restoration of Your Relationship with Christ
1. Â Foundation -Â Restore the foundation – a relationship built upon sand will fail. (Matthew 7:26 – 27)Sometimes the foundation needs to be reset. God is waiting to reset the mortar in the cracked footers with your help. The setting of the foundation is very important for if it is not set right you are in for a disaster.
- Keep a regular maintenance cycle with daily prayer and study, small group connections with other believers, and constant trust and dependability upon God.
- Match the mortar. Foundational restoration should be matched with sound Biblical principles. Match by applying the teachings of Jesus and scriptural verses to your life.
- Never grind out joints keeping the joints filled at all times. Do not remove past experiences only deteriorated thinking. The past must lie in the past in order to move forward but for growth to occur it must stay in place.
- Never use sealers. Sealed thinking traps your life in the past. This will compound problems in the relationship and create issues with freeze cycles not allowing the necessary expansion of forward movement.
- Replace in kind. Total damaged foundational relationships should be renewed wholly and with sound scriptural teaching. Voids filled with soft thinking and passing worldly trends don’t last.
2. Radiators -Â The light of God should shine forth from you for others to see giving off the warmth of God in the cold dark world. (2 Corinthians 4: 6 ”“ 7)
- Don’t throttle a one-pipe radiator. The light of God shines freely into you and you need to allow it to shine freely from you to others. Share God with the confined space of the world. Keep the valve open to avoid hammering and weak squirting air vents.
- Create a perfect pitch. One-pipe radiation must pitch toward the supply valve of God. Striving for perfection in your relationship is always full of benefits.
- Gain control by trusting God. Save the fuel of worry by placing your trust fully in God. This can be zoned into areas of need through scriptural study, prayer, and recognizing that all you have on earth belongs to God. Following this rule of trust will aid in creating a great pitch.
- Get a great finish. The great finish with the light of God not only will allow the radiant warmth of love to flow in and out of you but with trust and belief the great finish is our gift from God. But it can’t be accomplished without Christ so don’t try this alone.
- Don’t worry about fires. Because of the great finish there is no fear of fire. Even with the occasional hot spot of sin, with forgiveness and continued walks with Christ, the sin sparks will not kindle into the fire of eternity, so you can rest easy.
3. Walls of Woodworking – Preservation of the original creation is not only necessary but required as we have been made in His image. (Genesis 1:26)
- Use heartwood. Heart-“wood” was created in God’s original model of you and must be maintained by taking care of yourself. There is no substitute for this.
- Maintain the original installation with the heart side up. You will not only wear better in your relationship with Christ but in your relationships with others too when your heart comes first. The possibilities ofÂ some cupping can occur occasionally, as the world hits you hard, but if your heart is facing up and out your edges will stay flat and only the center will hump slightly.Â In time, that hump will smooth out and maintain the flatness needed to keep all your relationships solid.
- Learn to use hand tools.Â Hand tools produced almost all historic work.Â True restoration will only occur when you get back to the basics of the original tools beginning with the scripture of the Bible. You cannot produce the fine finishes of a God relationship without it and it can’t be produced with shaky and trendy worldly views.
- Â Use traditional joinery. Restoration repairs should be made using traditional joinery instead of non-historic methods. This is in the line of using hand tools; false reproductions will just not stand the test of time.
4. Roofing – You must be aware and know who is ultimately in control and what is covering your head. (Proverbs 19:21)
- Identify your roof; know what governs you. To correctly care for the relationship and ties that bind you make sure you understand fully the relationship. Determine the status of the relationship and make repairs immediately if warranted. Know that you cannot make repairs by following the ways of the world so seek out the ways of God instead.
- Understand your roof’s longevity. Â God built your roof covering of relationshipÂ to last forever if you take care of it. Treasure it through your trust and belief. Your relationship roof is highly valued and must be properly maintained.
- Inspect your roof regularly. You should daily reflect upon your relationship with God through a number of ways; praise, thankfulness, and the seeking of forgiveness. You can join other believers to help maintain each other roofs and if you see missing, broken, sliding pieces, or flashing that looks suspect, call upon the Holy Spirit for help with the repair.
5. Windows – Give of yourself and of all the things you own fully unto the Lord. This allows for the windows of heaven to be maintained in an open position of blessings from God. (Malachi 3:10)
- Save the original windows. Remember that the original windows of blessings have lasted through thousands of years so do not give back less than the full tithe return to God. Attempting to replace the original with half-hearted, fake, and plastic motions will further deteriorate a failing part and wont’ be repaired.
- Everyone’s window is different. Consider individual window needs. Do not look to other’s windows for the needed maintenance of yours. Each window is different with different needs. Some will just need to be weather-stripped, others fitted with storm windows, and rotting windows will need to be replaced. Be sure to look at your own windows and do not critique or long forÂ other’s windows.
- Maintenance lasts. Simple maintenance and minor repairs will certainly put your windows in order to last through the time given on earth. Giving freely to others will not only help maintain their windows of need but will aid in your own window maintenance.
- Enjoy your old windows. The original molding profiles have always provided authentic blessings that cannot be recreated.Â Revel in the windows you have been given and do not attempt to see the stores of heaven from others’ view as distortion through the glass will occur.
6. Hardware – Maintain the relationship through the hardware of communication. (1 John 5:14-15)
- Clean gently. To clean dirt and general gunk from communication hardware use natural ingredients. Prayer with seeking forgiveness is the most natural way to clean off the dirt and replace gunk with peace.
- Be full of patience. Â Things move in God time and not our time so you may not see immediate results to your problems in this world. But you can know that your problems of the next world will be all corrected as scripture tells you so. In the meantime you can find the peace you need through diligent prayer and focus of your relationship. You can begin by asking God to reveal to you who He is and how He would like you to respond to Him.
- Know what you’ve got. The more specifics you can understand about your relationship and the relationship that God offers everyone, the more likely you’ll communicate with others who don’t know God personally by sharing about your relationship with Jesus.
- Be flexible.Â You must always be thankful no matter what happens in your world. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)You must always remember that above all God is in control and that it is His plan we are following and not the other way around.
So today begin your own restoration project knowing that it initiatesÂ with your belief. The hope of all to come should overwhelm you to strive to do all you can to right your heart and life placing them in line with God while working with all believers.
Locate the joy in the journey of restoration as the challenge comes forthÂ to place your blind trust in the hope of things to come by maintaining or restoring the structural elements others cannot see. Be motivated to move forward in the promise of hope finding comfort in knowing that all wrong things will be rightÂ and justified when you join your Lord in eternity.
Love in Christ,
Post Script -Â
Hope keeps you afloat when the waters of life threaten to drown you. Hope transforms you when tragedy strikes and threatens to consume you. Hope is the comforted restoration of the present.
What are your thoughts?Â
Do you need a restoration in your relationship with God? Do you find yourself keeping up the needed maintenance of a previous restoration project? Have you found or seen hope in your life because of the promises that God offers? Join us in discussion on the gifted restoration of hope or other related topics.