Are you afraid of change? Do you like to say, “That’s just the way I am …” or “This is the way we’ve always done this or that.” or “That’s just how I was raised.” How about, “I’ve tried to change, but I just can’t?” Are you so afraid of change that you do what ever you have to just so you don’t have to change?
I used to be a person who didn’t like change very much, then I read a book called “Lord Change Me” by Evelyn Christenson. In that book, she writes about how she discovered that she was responsible for the changes that needed to be made in her. I realized that if I was afraid of change, then I was afraid of allowing God to have his way in my life.
God isn’t afraid of change, actually, I think God rather LOVES change. Randomly open your Bible, I am guessing that somewhere on one of the two pages you have just opened it to, there is something about changing. Yes, even if you open to Numbers, it is listing the changes from father, to son to grandson, etc, the change from one generation to another generation. I would even go so far as to say if you open to the New Testament, more times than not, the change being talked about would apply to you in some way. It is either going to be about a change you made, are making, or need to make. Try it, see if I’m right.
We like to say that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is, but He is also a God of change. One thing is for sure, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are in for a whole boat load of change, no matter where you think your starting from. The word repent actually means change, so you can’t get to Jesus without making a change. You can not truly accept Jesus and yet remain the same. And here’s the real kicker, you will ALWAYS be changing as long as you are on this earth. Always. Like it or not, ALWAYS.
In Philippians 1, Paul writes:
5[I thank my God] for your fellowship (your [a]sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now. 6And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Did you see that, “from the first day” …. “until the day of Jesus Christ”. What is happening during that time? He [God] is developing and perfecting and bringing completion in you. Bottom line, He’s changing you.
In Corinthians 4 Paul writes:
Thus death is actively at work in us, but [it is in order that [c]our] life [may be actively at work] in you.
“Actively working,” even in Paul who was writing most of the New Testament at the time. Paul, who had already made some extreme changes in his life – he literally switched sides! Actually, there’s another thing that proves that God likes change, He doesn’t just change people’s lives, He changes their names!
Paul writes in Ephesians 4 (MSG):
20-24But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Something I never noticed until I read this in the Message version is exactly what follows …
25What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. 26-27Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
A little side note here: Interesting, so Paul is writing the Ephesians to change their ways, to be truthful with their neighbor and its ok to get anger, just don’t stay that way. Interesting isn’t it? I’m wondering, was he talking to the people telling the truth, or those HEARING the truth when he says go ahead and be anger? Which one do you notice seems to get angry more often? Well, I guess if you don’t see what I see, oh well. If you do, you’re probably having the same reaction as me. hmmm
Anyway … If what you are being asked to change goes against scripture, then, fight it with everything you have. But if it doesn’t, then you are fighting a losing battle. Do you know who you are really fighting against? If you are being asked to make a change that lines up with scripture, and you are fighting it, you are probably fighting God. You’re not fighting the person asking you to change, you’re not fighting against you’re parents, you’re not fighting against the congregation, you’re not fighting the church leadership, you’re not fighting the pastor — you’re fighting God.
Jesus couldn’t have been more specific then when he said (Matthew 16):
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [[p]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. 25For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed [q]life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [r]life [in the kingdom of God]?
You see, Jesus and God are not calling us just to change, they are calling us to make a dieing change. If you want to fight against that, well, then you can keep your old way, eternally. Like I said, it’s a losing battle.
So keep saying, “That’s just the way I am …” or “This is the way we’ve always done this or that.”? “I’ve tried to change, but I just can’t?” “It’s just the way I was raised.” Either way, you are going to die, it’s your choice though, are you just going to die, or are you going to make a dieing change?
Quote from C.S. Lewis in his book “Mere Christianity”:
… We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be, and if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. …
… Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness. …
… If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair. …
What kind of changes does He asked for? There are a number of my other posts that list such things.
And many more!