I contribute to the Synchroblog site on WordPress, and this month’s topic is about renewal. When thinking about the word ‘renewal’, I had always considered it a time when I realized I had drifted away from God. It was a time when I decided to make things right and get back close to Him.
The dictionary describes renew as: 1. to revive, reestablish. 2. to recover (youth, strength); 3. to restore to a former state, make new or as if new again.
When I really think about it in regard to these terms, I wonder if renewal is even a correct term.
God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, he will never leave or forsake us. After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the Spirit was given and God came to live within us. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you, and Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Since God is within us and never leaves us, why do we feel the ongoing need for renewal?
I understand from our end, we think we drift and get away from God, and we think we have to do something to revive or restore the former state we were in with our Father.
The only thing wrong with that thinking is, we do not have to do anything to be restored. God never left us. There are times when we feel we have left God, but that is not the case. Jesus did everything necessary for us to have a continual, lasting relationship with the Father. We cannot do anything anyway. It is grace through faith, and Jesus already took care of everything necessary.
Many couples, after many years of marriage want to renew their vows. There is nothing wrong with doing this, but does renewing your vows make you any more married, any more a couple in love than if you did not renew your vows? Same with God, we are children of God because of grace, and Jesus only had to die once to provide grace for all time.
Another aspect of renewal is the idea of renewal of membership, or our vows to God. We feel we have to renew those every once in a while or we may no longer be a part of God’s family. We have our renewal weekends or renewal (revival) services and think we are going to make a new commitment to God and do so much better. God does not accept us one moment, then get frustrated with our actions and disown us. No, God accepts us forever. We are holy and righteous because of Christ, and children of God for all time… no renewal necessary. It was his work that made us holy, not our works. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works.
I truthfully feel our thinking is wrong. We have always been taught that God is up in heaven, and if we do the right things, he will hear us and be happy with us. That idea is wrong. God is within us. We are holy and righteous because of what Jesus has done. God loves us and accepts us no matter what we do or do not do.
There is no real need for renewal in our relationship with God. It does not make a difference how we feel, God is right there with us each and every day. In the story of the prodigal son, the son certainly felt a need for renewal. He had a speech all prepared to try to get back in good with his father, but it was not necessary. His father never saw his son as anything other than a son. He watched and waited for him each day. As soon as he saw the son, he ran to him and loved him. He took him in as a full-fledged son, no questions asked.
That is the way our Father sees us. There are times when we get away from the Father in our thinking because we are basing our relationship on our actions. Only thing is, our actions do not affect our relationship. God is right there with us every day. Jesus provided everything for us, and the Son/Father came to live within us. Jesus asked the Father that he and we would be one as he and the Father are one. A time or renewal is no longer necessary from God’s point of view.
If anything, it is time to renew our minds to the fact that God is within us all the time. Through Christ, we have been crucified and resurrected as new creatures….the ultimate renewal. This renewal was a one-time thing. It is not necessary as in the Old Covenant, to continually come to God seeking forgiveness and renewed relationship.
The only renewal we may need is in our thinking. Talk to your Father constantly, trust what Jesus has done, once and for all, and stop thinking you have to renew your relationship with your Father. He loves you continually, he lives within you daily, and he will never leave you.
This post is part of the February synchroblog “Renewal”
Abbie Waters – It is Well with My Soul
Mark Votova – 30 Ways the Church Can Find Renewal
Jeremy Myers – I am Dying … (So I Can Live Again)
Phil Lancanster – The Parable of the Classic Car
Susan Schiller – Renewal by Design
Glenn Hager – Repurposed
Wesley Rostoll – Why I no longer pray for revival
Clara Ogwuazor-Mbamalu – Renewal of the Spirit
K. W. Leslie – Those who wait on the Lord
Lisa Brown – Momma’s Kick Off Your Shoes and Stay For A While!
Jenom Makama – …Like An Antivirus
Leah – Renewal!