Remodeling is a mess. Before anything new can be built the old stuff has to be torn away. Old ceiling, cabinets, walls, flooring; it all has to be torn down before the new materials can be added. It is a messy process but also needed.
The same happens to the Christian. The old ways have to be destroyed so the remodeling can begin.
“Come let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up." (Hosea 6:1)
We don’t normally think of God as one who destroys or tears down. But Hosea says otherwise, and other Scriptures support the idea.
“Our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing…” (Romans 6:6) Our destruction comes before our reconstruction.
“Put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.” (Ephesians 4:20-24) Again, destroy the old so we can be renewed.
Hosea recognized that God can and will bring us down before building us up. It is often in the depths of our despair that we come to know God. Only when there is nothing left do we really see His love for us. Even Paul had trouble understanding this idea until he had begged for deliverance from some unknown “thorn in the flesh”.
His conclusion was:
“I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b-10
God’s greatest leaders have always been broken before they could be used. Noah spent 120 years laboring over a boat; Abraham wandered as a nomad; Moses fled luxury to tend cattle; even Jesus suffered in the wilderness. In fact, the Bible says Jesus “emptied Himself” (Philippians 2:7) so that He could redeem mankind.
Like these great men, just as the work we are here to do in these days, let us surrender to God so that He might first break us and empty us before rebuilding and refilling our spirit.