“God’s not into remodeling. he’s into demo and start over.” –Shawn Craig (PCD)
When Pastor Craig said that, my brain stopped for a minute (a common thing, that). We always picture God as the creator, the life-giver, the grower, the Fix-It Felix in a world of Wreck-It Ralphs. And yet, the concept of God being a demolition man is remarkably accurate.
When mankind sucked beyond the maximum capacity of suck, what did God do? The Flood. When the Israelites came into the promised land, what did they have to do first? Kill everybody who already lived there (not a fair/entirely accurate statement, but I went for lolz). What did God do when the Israelites began to reach the suck mark again? Sent enemies to wipe them off the map. What did God do when the Old Covenant didn’t work? He sent Jesus to wreck it.
Why? I know a family who I won’t name because they probably read my blog. Their house is a wreck. It’s very, very old, it hasn’t been kept up very well, and the place is a mess. How would a repairman come and make it nice again? Gut it. Tear everything out and put new things in because the old doesn’t work anymore. More often than we realize, when you want to make something new, you have to wreck the old, first.
Now you may think the New Testament God isn’t into wrecking things. In fact, Jesus really does sound more like Fix-It Felix.
But you know what? Jesus wrecks stuff every single day! You know what the first thing Jesus does when you give your life to him? He wrecks your heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Jesus said in Matthew 9 that you don’t put new wine into old wineskins or else they’ll break and the wine will be ruined (read: wrecked). You put new wine into new wineskins. Jesus doesn’t put new foundation into old homes. He wrecks the old home and builds an entirely new one.
That’s where Christians get their confidence. God has destroyed our old hearts and given us new ones (Ezekiel 36:26). Our flesh is still old and still sinful, but it is our hearts that receive God, not our bodies. Thus, God pours the new wine (covenant) into new wineskins (our hearts). If he just put his word into our old hearts, we’d reject it, forget it, or ignore it. When God comes in, he gives us new hearts.
There’s hope in that, I think. It shows the totality of God’s work in us–not just removing sin, but removing our hearts and giving us a new one. In his book Waking the Dead, John Eldredge points out that a new heart is a good heart; the Christian’s heart is good. Our flesh may fight us, but our cores are new. You can know how to play the piano and still need practice, so you can have a new heart and still need to tune it to God. Some wrong notes here and there do not make you a bad pianist.
We are new creations. That is God’s habit: tearing away the old, putting in the new. Revelation 21:5 says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Translation…