A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“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 sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were doing to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself (p. 205).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Talk about intrusive. God takes the cake on intrusive. He comes into our lives and acts like he owns the place and plans to stay forever. Lewis makes it sound like God is doing the HGTV show “Bathroom Crashers” where someone gets a free remodeling. But the real life experience is not that glamorous (at least not initially).
Let this sink in. God comes in to do an overhaul. God’s involvement is not just cosmetic. God brings a U-Haul, not an overnight bag when He comes. This should be shocking. This is the intent of the language used to describe salvation – “Therefore is anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).”
We invite God into our lives as an honored guest, glad that He would do us the honor of visiting our meager lives, and then realize He intends to be our husband (Eph. 5:32). We keep waiting for the time when things will “return to normal” so we can catch our breath, but we realize He’s not leaving. Normal has been forever changed.
Salvation isn’t a television episode, or even a series; it’s the new reality. There are no commercial breaks or flipping channels. God has moved in.
Remember a television show or cartoon where the main character suddenly gets everything he/she ever wanted and then isn’t prepared for the other changes that domino from this dream-come-true. Lewis is saying that is the uncomfortable fallout of the gospel.
Catch your breath again. This isn’t a nightmare. It’s just overwhelmingly good. Let that sink in. God is so good that we often feel like we need to rest from His goodness. It is over-stimulating. Part (maybe most) of the uneasiness we feel is that our finite minds are trying to absorb God’s infinite goodness. We’re drinking from the fire hydrant of God’s goodness and we’re not thirsty enough to appreciate the stream of blessing.
This isn’t prosperity gospel, because the home that Lewis is referencing (and of which Scripture primarily speaks) is our character and relationships. God’s not putting a sky-light in our bathroom; He’s putting Jesus’ character in our soul.
Our souls are too small for this, so it requires an expansion. That expansion hurts like any growing pains. If you think a renovation is unpleasant for the home owners, try being the home. But the unveiling of the finished product is worth it (Eph. 5:27).
So what is the take away? Trust Jesus, He’s the top listed Carpenter on Angel’s List.