I’m sure you have noticed as I have the continuing number of so-called “total make-over” shows and publications that are on in the media today. You can get a face make-over, a body make-over, a wardrobe make-over, a kitchen make-over, a total house make-over, a pet make-over and the list goes on and on. The amazing thing is, these programs seem to thrive with viewers that tune in every time they are scheduled. It should be obvious to all of us that these programs focus on the world’s view of how things should look and they are totally focused on changing the external appearance while failing to see the futility in doing so. Nothing “external” about us or anything we own is going to last for ever on earth. Philippians 3: 19 states “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” You see the focus of all this “make-over” is on earthly things. While some may feel better about themselves because of a change in some external factor, the reality is that true change that really matters for eternity starts on the inside of a person. 2 Corinthians 4: 18 tells us “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
That brings me to the point of this article, only God can perform the true ultimate make-over! 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” God’s design is to work from the inside out. If we are “in Christ” then we have been made new and this is accomplished not by our efforts but by the actions of the Holy Spirit. It is not a matter of looking different but of being different on the inside. This “new creation” is one of new desires and new focus brought about by the righteousness given by our Heavenly Father. No doubt that others will observe a change on the outside created by this new creation on the inside but make no bones about it, the change is on the inside.
The major issue for us men is we want to claim this spiritual rebirth on the inside but live our outward lives status quo. We don’t really want those around us to know we have gone through this ultimate make-over. After all, it’s just not manly to allow the Holy Spirit to make us a “new creature” and heaven forbid that the “old has gone.” We seem to think that being a slave to sin is somehow manlier than serving the Creator of all things! Galatians 5: 17 states “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” I think this is a key reason why so many men claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ are not finding fulfillment and contentment in their lives. They are battling this “new creature” against their sinful nature. Galatians 5: 19-21 gives us a snapshot of the sinful nature. It says “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Now I know how we men look at things like this and we tend to pick out the worst of the worst of this list and say to ourselves “I haven’t committed any of those terrible things.” The fact is, sometimes it is the smallest of things that pull us far away from our Heavenly Father. Have you had someone hurt you to the point you haven’t been able to forgive them? Do you find yourself envying a neighbor or acquaintance because of their material possessions or their trophy wife? How are your anger management skills? Have you placed your career path over your spiritual path? Do you find that you enjoy pointing out other’s deficiencies rather than helping them find solutions? Not so easy to look the other way when you consider these things is it? We aren’t really taking this “new creation” very serious if we continue to do these things that are not at all like we want God to treat us. Ephesians 4: 21-24 gives us the answer we so desperately seek. It says “Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Colossians 3: 1-3 says it this way “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” This ultimate make-over occurs because we change our focus from earthly things to things above. We have “died” to sin and we live for Christ who died for us. You notice this passage states that we should set our hearts and our minds on things above. God’s desire is to live in our hearts and then our heart relationship with Him should drive what goes in our minds. Too many of us are trying to claim the heart relationship but ignore the development of the mind to these spiritual things. Without this, the ultimate make-over cannot be made complete. Colossians 3: 5-11 states “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Is Christ your all? If so then He is in all that you do. God is not interested in an occasional, casual relationship. He wants you completely and totally. So much so that He sent His only Son to pay your sin debt and give you a way to reconcile your heart with His. The ultimate make-over occurs when we give our hearts over to God and become totally focused on being and doing what is pleasing to Him. Never forget that we will not be perfect in our efforts but the key is staying the course and making corrections as we learn from our errors. God has never said He expects perfection only that we should strive to live like Christ and model our lives after Him. It is time for God’s men to display the ultimate make-over to those around us and by doing so we can influence change in others that will be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.