Recently while surfing cable channels I came upon a program called “Flip or Flop”. Someone buys a fixer-upper and after much renovation and the usual frustrating surprises, sells the house for a nifty profit. Buying property to sell later isn’t really a new concept, but I guess no one thought to make it into a reality show before. There is also “Flip the Block”, “Flea Market Flip” and even “Flipping RVs”. There may be more, but really, I gave up caring quite a while ago. So how about something a little more serious in the flipping business? Something a little more personal. Something a lot more eternal.
There are numerous individuals in God’s Word who were powerfully changed when they gave their lives to God, but perhaps none more than the Apostle Paul. First known as Saul, his life was a real “fixer-upper” and God was more than up to the task. You can read Saul’s background in his own words found in Acts 22:3, and his account of what he was consumed with in verse 4: “I persecuted this Way (those who accepted Jesus as God’s Son) to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons.”
Satan’s tactics were simple: he wanted to distract, deceive, and destroy Saul. If he could do that and move Saul along this path to its ultimate end, he would win the battle. Satan distracted Saul as he made his focus the destruction of Christians. He deceived him into believing that this is what God wanted, and in the process, Satan destroyed Saul’s relationship with God.
God stepped into Saul’s life one day on his travels to arrest more believers. He knew what changes were needed. It was important for Saul to realize who Jesus was, that he had died and was now alive. Saul needed to acknowledge Jesus as God and what better way than to hear Jesus speaking to him from heaven (Acts 22:7-9). Could we call this momentous occasion a flipping of Saul’s heart?
Understanding the truth of Jesus’ deity and his fulfillment of prophecy prepared Saul for major transformation. What he had been taught and had always believed was now being challenged. Everything was stripped bare—down to the very foundation: God is God and Jesus, His Son, was sent to provide salvation for all who believe. “That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). God was ready to reclaim, remake and restore Saul if he would allow Jesus, the Carpenter from Galilee, to take on the task. And Saul did just that, becoming Paul, missionary to the gentiles. Many were brought to salvation because of his tireless work in the years that followed and we have copies of the letters that Paul wrote to these first believers in our New Testament
Admitting there are areas that need to be changed is the first step. It takes a total “gutting of the property” to bring us up to God’s code because no one is good enough to pass inspection. Paul knew that when he wrote this in his letter to Titus “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done…” (3:5) Don’t let Satan distract or deceive you, he only wants to destroy you. Instead, let God reclaim you and restore your fellowship with Him in order to remake you into the person He wants you to be. Only He knows the work to be done and it will be a total, glorious flip.