George MacDonald shared this parable once, “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 the 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 going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself”
Have you ever felt perplexed by the work that God is attempting to do in your life? You may be thinking that he will make a few changes here and there and then over the years, you start noticing a sort of nudging within your soul that He wants more. And oftentimes, the extra that you feel He is asking of you seems a little or a lot outside of your comfort zone. The natural reaction from us is to second guess. Maybe you are reading the signs all wrong. You rationalize that you are already doing enough and perhaps, in your opinion, more than most other people. So, you start to pull back when you feel God pushing forward. The house in this case is resisting the builder or even more than that, the architect. Telos is a term in Greek that implies design or purpose. We each have a ‘telos’ given to us by our architect- God. That telos is a form of infrastructure to which the walls of our ‘house’ are meant to conform.
The problem is that we keep trying to argue with the architect who alone correctly understands how to achieve stability, strength and functionality within the structure of the house. We reject any remodeling or changes that move outside of our acceptable standards. The house begins dictating to the architect what should be done.
In John 14:12 it says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” God has big plans for us as we seek to do what He was doing while here. Not seeking to do as we please or to build our life here or to get comfortable here. I think that might be all our problems. We think God is trying to build a cottage when in fact He wants to build in us a palace. We were comfortable with the cottage but the demands of constructing a palace requires too much. More than we might want to give. It will require sacrifice of ‘our space’ so that something more amazing can be done within us. The following words come to my mind when I think on this process: risk, submission, change of life goals, uncertainty, inconvenience, unfamiliarity, upheaval, and new vision. These sound so frightening because they require a reframing of our plans for our lives. We may have always only given to God what we were comfortable in giving. I often personally wonder how much more God could do through and in me if I stopped telling Him my plans.