This week, outside the door to my church office, painters have been working away putting a fresh coat of paint on the church walls. It is amazing how a new coat of paint can take something old and haggard and make it look fresh and clean again, isn’t it?
When I walked into the church this morning I was greeted with pink walls spotted with what looked like hundreds of randomly placed white blotches. It was quite a sight, but something very important was happening.
All too often people will take shortcuts in the painting process in an attempt to simply cover up the old, but we all know it doesn’t work that way. It only hides what’s still there and eventually it will have to be dealt with. And the truth is that others can see the shortcut too.
Any painter worth their salt will tell you that the key to painting properly is the preparation work done prior to putting paint on the walls. It can range from a simple scuffing of the old surface (so the new paint will stick) or repairing the surface (like what I saw this morning with hundreds of dents and holes being filled), to completely removing the old paint (because it is no longer bonding and will cause the new paint to fall off). Whatever it is, if the old is not dealt with the new will not achieve the desired result and eventually the old will resurface.
As I sat thinking about this from the safety of my office, it struck me that this painting project is a lot like our walk with God. (Don’t roll your eyes! Stay with me!)
When God forgives our sins He does it by grace through faith and our sins were covered with the blood of Jesus. But before that point, God does prep-work with us. The Holy Spirit works within us to cause us to feel convicted about our sins and a need to be saved from them.
The next step in the prep process is repentance. Jesus said, "there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known,” (Luke 12:2). We can't just cover up the sins of the past with good works (or whatever). We need to confess our sins for what they are and repent (turn away from sin and turn towards God). That’s prep work.
it’s then that we were ready for the blood of Jesus to freshly cover us.
The prep work is really important and worth the hard work. God made a promise to His children to bring health and healing, and to enjoy abundant peace and security (Jeremiah 33:6).
What an amazing promise to you and to me!
Why don’t you allow God to do His perfect prep work in your life, today!