God’s desire is to dwell within us—as a church and as individuals—in his fullness. For this to happen, we have to work with him to make room for his presence. That work starts with each one of us asking ourselves, “Am I assisting or resisting God’s renovations?

C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity wrote,

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense…You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

God doesn’t just want to come as a houseguest, who comes to visit on occasion. Instead, he wants to take up residence within you. In his first letter to them, Paul reminded the Corinthians,”Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19).” That’s true of you, too.

So, how does God renovate us? He primarily utilizes two instruments to change us from the inside.

Through the Bible

God’s word actively teaches us who God is, corrects our missteps, and instructs us how to live lives that invite God’s presence and work in us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As we take time to dig into scripture, God might have some hard things to say to us and some difficult things to uproot from our lives. This shouldn’t make us nervous, though, because God corrects those that he loves (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6). Knowing that God only wants the best for you, approach God’s word with trust and eagerness, knowing that his correction is compassionate and that it will always lead you into fuller life.

Through Community

We can’t do this work alone. The community of believers we find within the church is a gift because renovation takes a team. Let us embrace the advice we find in Hebrews to, “…consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).” As we encourage one another to walk in the truth of God’s word, we’ll find that—both individually and corporately—we’re being changed.

It’s hard work to allow God to renovate our hearts and our lives, especially through the initial demolition before we’re built into something new. Be assured that God will continue to work in you, changing you from the inside out, and filling you with his Spirit so that you can be an agent of transformation in this world.