Part One: Your Hope to Real and Lasting Change and Success

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I recently heard a frustrated person say People really never change. I know why many would think that. As a Pastor for 35 years, I interacted with thousands of people on a regular basis. I’ve seen more than a few people repeatedly fall prey to the same temptations bringing hurt to themselves and others. Every time they’d have a period of success, but then cave and fall, they would lessen their credibility in the eyes of those around them. I’d hear those being hurt or disappointed by them utter the words, They’ll never change. It wasn’t always about those being tempted by something. Sometimes it would be those who would boldly declare the new goals and disciplines they were launching into, only to quickly abandon them and crawl back in their rut, discontented with themselves.  Do you know anyone like that? Have you ever been that person? Are you now? When I was a young man living without Jesus, I was that person.

No one wants to live in ruts whether it’s sin, or simply stagnancy and a lack of personal growth. I personally believe people are most happy when they experience personal growth that leads to good and godly changes. Sometimes the effort it takes to make those changes range in the difficult to impossible zone and yet God is calling to you regarding them. I have been through more changes than I can recall and I don’t remember any of them being easy. I came out of alcoholism and addiction. I came out of being financially irresponsible. I came out of being less than a desirable husband. Those were the initial big changes. But then there were the things I felt God was leading me to do. Start businesses, invent, build on my education, become a leader and Pastor, run marathons, and much more. This was over a span of time but it all represented growth and change. And none of it was easy! But boy was it rewarding! And it’s why God wants change for us!

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Did you notice those words “making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”? They indicated moving from a less than desirable place to a better place and with the supernatural help of God. When you read about that in the Bible, you’ll always find it was God’s grace and man’s effort that brought about these changes! And that is what He wants for you! 

Mankind’s only hope to real and lasting change is through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only enabler and helper of real and lasting change. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, you won’t experience the good and lasting changes that God wants for you—the help that leads you into a closer walk with Him, and in the plan of God for your life. People want to grow, mature, experience promotion and success, and prosper. Every ounce of those things represent change! And so you don’t want others or your own mirror to speak back saying, You’ll never change.

Over the years, I have learned the value of having quiet time. For me, they are atmospheres I create where there are no distractions—no phones, television, computers, people, anything but quiet where I can be still before the Lord and talk and pray with Him. The only two things that will be with me are my Bible and something to write down thoughts I know the Lord is speaking to me. This is a critical daily need and discipline that Jesus taught and mentored before us. We see this in Luke 5:16 (NIV) “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely (solitary) places and prayed.”I create this kind of atmosphere in my life on a daily basis. I won’t create a box of telling you for how long, or where, or what time of day. Each of our lives have different demands and those demands change in the different seasons of our life. You have to create your times where you know you can make them work. What I will tell you is that I create this quiet time with the Lord so that I can pray and hear from Him through His Word. These times are critical to my life. I use them to reflect honestly and sincerely before the Lord about how I am doing in Him. I am going to always see shortcomings in my life. But, I don’t beat myself up. They are just changes that in God’s help, I will conquer over time. But, I do try to sincerely evaluate what is good and what is not good in my life that needs change. It’s also where I ask and pray that God give and refresh me with His strength in all my current goals or assignments from Him.

Why do I do this daily? I do this because our spiritual maturity is a daily and life-long process that God highly values and desires for us. He wants to mentor us as the perfect Father! Maturity and promotion go hand in hand and God wants both for us. And so, God’s plan is continuous methodical change. I’ll share more on this in Part Two in my next post! 

In closing today, know that some of the greatest scriptures to help you pray for your spiritual growth and strength to succeed are in Ephesians Chapters one through three.  Read them and pray them over yourself!

Ephesians 3:16-18 (NLT2) “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His
home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s
love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.”  


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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