Living near the ocean has many blessings for sure as the Father’s creative beauty paints a new picture daily, as for buildings well that is anther story. The combination of gale force winds stirring up sea salt and sand quickly strip away the exterior of the building as well as rusting any metal object in its path.
Over these last 3 years of living on campus it has become evidence that up keep never stops and the longer it is neglected the worse it becomes. So this past week painters have tackled the frames of all the windows of the main building. It has been a tedious and repetitious task of sanding and staining as workers restore the old window frames with a fresh and shining bright glaze.
Observing the process I thought about how restoration is a metaphor of the believer’s soul. Powerful spiritual forces storm against us daily, beating on us on both the outside and inside. These forces stir within us feelings of inadequacies, weakness, weariness, and shame from battles with self and sin in the world. Soon the once anointed bright glaze of the Spirit is in need of deep restoration.
The Restorer of our souls has revealed to us throughout His Word that the way to revive our hearts is through repentance. The word repentance is used by every prophet in the First (Old) Testament and at the very beginning of the New Testament with the eccentric one-of-a-kind prophet John the Baptist. Both Jesus and His disciples began their ministries preaching repentance after they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Repentance is how the Spirit of God works to restore our cracked and worn souls. Both the Hebrew and Greek word for “repentance” carries with it the meaning of turning. Turning away from sin and all the distractions that our culture throws at us, and turning to the loving arms of the Father (see the story of the Loving Father in Luke 15:11ff.).
Recently I was sharing in a message at a local church how I had to fast from the news media again. For me it is a soul sucker and robs me of heaven’s shalom. So whenever I’m tempted to scroll through news feeds I open my Bible instead and turn to the Good News, what a difference for my soul!
After the message I heard several testimonies from people who were struggling with their souls being sucked dry from social media and spending countless hours only to feel more distorted. One young lady shared how she stopped her social media accounts at the beginning of the year because of the bondage she felt but now she exclaimed, “I feel freedom!!!” Spiritual “sanding” was taking place and the bright glaze of the Spirit’s light was making way to shine brightly.
Repentance is not just a one time turning away from looking to the world and all its gods for solace it is a conscious and daily choice to spend time focussing on the kindness of a Savior God who sent His Son to rebuild and restore our soul with His freedom and life.
Repentance is a gift from the Father who through the Spirit awakens us to turn away from what is destroying our souls and turn to the loving and forgiving Face of The One who is in the business of restoring His glory in us. He desires to renew our souls, to give us a fresh and shining bright glaze.
Sand paper will be necessary to remove the old in order to prepare for the new. But it will be worth it to remove the stains we may inherit from this world in order to be covered by His perfect blood, sealing us forever with lasting love.
Let His Spirit speak to you today about your soul and where you need to turn back to the lover and restorer of it.
“Do you realize that all the wealth of His extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?” Romans 2:4