A few months back, while getting on the scale, I noticed that I had gradually gained 15 pounds over the past year and a half. I began a quest to lose that weight plus an additional ten pounds. I thought I could knock it off fairly easy. How wrong I was. It’s been hard work and discipline to get it off but I’m getting there. It was important to make that change in my life for many reasons, but the primary reason was because God was dealing with me to do so.
Since the day I gave my life to Jesus, He has dealt with me about making changes in every area of my life. Why? He had given me eternal life through Jesus but He also wants to bless my life here on earth. In John 10:10 (NIV) Jesus said, “I have come to give life and give it more abundantly.” He doesn’t do that with a magic wand. He does that by speaking to our heart through His Word and helping us make changes that cause us to become more Christ-like. They will result in favor and blessing in our life. And so my life has undergone constant changes in my thinking, attitude, temperament, life-style—in literally every are of my life. And the result has been wonderful. Because of those changes, God has opened up the door for me to be a godly influence to more than I could have ever imagined. But, He is not done with me and frankly won’t ever be done with me. Does that bother me? Absolutely not! Every change I make leads me to greater blessing in my life. Jesus wants our lives to go through a transformation so that we will be in the center of God’s will, be blessed, and have the greatest influence for Him that is possible. As Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Making real changes in your life is not easy. Real change only happens with effort, prayer, and discomfort. Know that up front will help you. It is only when you lean on the Lord and His Word that strength and exhortation comes to help you through difficult changes. As God deals with us concerning change, we think about them over and over and over again. Never grow numb or callous to the desire to change. Don’t suppress and bury or sweep those thoughts under the carpet. You don’t have to bury it, or feel condemned by it. You can face it, pray through it and let the Holy Spirit strengthen and encourage you at every step. If you start, stumble and fall, get back up and ask the Lord to help you again. Eventually you’ll get it and oh will you be glad when you do!
What makes change seem difficult to impossible? Satan tries to deceive us into believing that even as Christians, we are still enslaved and in bondage to sin. But, is that really true? Romans 8: 2 (NIV) will tell you it’s not. “…for the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.” If you’ve tried to make changes and end up thinking, I can’t do this, then you are a victim to deception because the truth is, you can! You have to believe it for it to become your truth! And then truth will set you free! The knowledge and commitment to the belief that “greater is He (Jesus) that is in you than he (Satan and every demonic influence) that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4) is what begins to break down the years of wrong thinking that became deep seeded habits, physical and psychological addictions, and bondage to sin.
Satan would also like to embarrass us and disqualify us by shouting “hypocrite” every time we do blow it or make a mistake. He is worse than any maniac drive-by shooter. He is because he tempts us to sin and then accuses us before God for the very sin he tempts and leads us into. Rev. 12:10 (NIV) says, “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…”
People keep secrets, many of them being secret sins. They hide their secret sins hoping that no one will find out. Sin can hide for a while but it eventually becomes discovered. Numbers 32:23 (NIV) says, “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” God already knows. That is why He is speaking to you about change. But what too many people often fail to realize is that God’s calling for change does not come with condemnation. Satan is the accuser and author of condemnation. God talks to us over and over just like a parent training his child—asking, reminding, and admonishing out of love, Please clean your room and pick up and put away your clothes.
God is merciful, patience and kind for many good reasons. He desires change—especially in the hidden things that are hurting you, stealing your blessing, and distracting or discouraging you from His purpose for your life. Wrong thoughts and actions never hurt just you. They always find a way to touch someone else. So, out of God’s love for you and for others, He keeps talking to us (if we will listen) about those changes. And sometimes you can feel that He is dealing with you in a more urgent way as he was concerning my weight. Again, think of warnings as love, not condemnation. God warns us, sometimes urgently to save or protect us.
God’s grace and power to change is within you! This is a fact. If you lean on yourself you will fail over the long haul. If you will lean on the power of Holy Spirit that indwells within you, you will experience His strengthening. If you will put faith in the fact that God is on your side and wants to help you, change will come! If you focus on the benefits that absolutely will come, it will lead you from destruction and bondage and into the blessing of life. What’s change has He been asking you to make?
Romans 8: 2 “For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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