If we aren’t careful, however, we can get caught up in obtaining the latest new-fangled contraption. Some of us find ourselves in debt because of our impulsive need for the new. This dangerous trap is the primary reason I avoid the mall. If I don’t go, I don’t see the latest Vera bag, iPod or Target tee. Who hasn’t visited Target for a handful of items and exited with a cartful?
Perhaps it’s healthy for us to cling to the word “renew”—to make new again. Some have perfected the art of creating new from old in the physical realm. They transform worn-out furniture into beautiful pieces, or repair and repaint a car from the 50’s, or remodel a dingy home into something amazing. Our fascination with this type of creativity is evident in the plethora of shows broadcast into our living rooms each day. Something deep within us resonates with the old being transformed into something not only usable but also beautiful.
The Master Creator planted this desire for newness inside of us. Our hearts and minds are corrupted without God renewing them. Too often we rely on our own willpower and strength to invoke virtuous thoughts and upright behavior. Yet, all our human effort can’t accomplish this task. Isaiah 64:6 states that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Thus, I can stake no hope in my own dogged determination to do or be good. And, even if I can outwardly appear charming, kind and benevolent, my heart may be loaded with bitterness, anger and envy. Scripture points me to Jesus as my only hope for renewal. He who spoke the world into existence from chaos is the only one who can restore and refresh my infected heart and mind.
So I pray, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) Then I reflect on His word.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
“who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:5)
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Later this week, when my family departs for vacation, I will recall this to mind. While I rest, relax and renew physically, I remember that true heart and mind renewal comes via my God. He makes my spirit new every single day as I tap into His never-ending supply.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (tears or weeping), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:4-7)