Manage episode 290474056 series 2800784
Over the years I have met with so many people who wanted to change some aspect of their life. Sometimes it was a habit, an addiction, or a hangup that they wanted freedom from. Sometimes they wanted to see their marriage change, improve and be healthier. Other times, people wanted to change by stepping out in faith to follow God’s purposes for their lives. It’s been my honor to share scripture and to pray with these individuals who were wanting to change.
Most of us would say there are things in our lives that need to change. We feel it. We are not happy about certain things. You might say, “I don’t like the way I respond. I don’t like it that I get so angry. I need to change certain habits. I’m struggling with some sins and I haven’t been able to stop.” Or maybe you would say, “I’m stuck in the past, and I can’t move forward. I haven’t been able to forgive, I haven’t been able to let go, I haven’t can’t seem to go forward and focus on the future.”
Maybe you are desperate for change. Maybe you would say, “If something doesn’t change in my marriage…” “If something doesn’t change in my career.” “If something doesn’t change in my character…” “If something doesn’t change in my heart…”
Here is some good news! God is in the business of changing lives. The Christian life is fundamentally a changed life. His change is not something that you can simply do by yourself. It’s going to take the power of God in your life and it’s going to require you to cooperate with God. Maybe it’s here that we struggle. We pray God please change me and we sit back and expect it to miraculously happen. But change requires that we cooperate with God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
How does change happen? This verse of scripture says that it happens when we are in Christ! We sometimes struggle because we focus on externals instead of the internals. We are looking at changing our behavior. God wants to change our hearts. Real and lasting change begins on the inside! Once we place our faith in Christ, he begins to work on the inside. We began a process of inner renewal. Every day we put off the old man, the old life, and we put on the new life in Christ.
Here’s an important principle to think about today: Change occurs when we decide to cooperate with God’s change process. It won’t happen without our cooperation.
I remember reading one time about a German tourist who had checked into a hotel near Miami International Airport. That night in his room he noticed a terrible smell. But travelers sometimes put up with discomforts, so he didn’t do anything about it. He slept in the bed without complaining to the front desk. The next morning, when he woke up, the odor was even worse. When he checked out he told the attendant. Later that morning a maid cleaning the room discovered the source of the odor. Under the bed was a dead body.
There can be things in our life that smell. Our character, our attitude, our lifestyle often is offensive to others, and to God, and even though we know we need to change, we just put up with it. We live with it.
Change requires a decision to cooperate with God! You can make that decision today. You can make a decision to follow Jesus today. You can decide to surrender your life to God today!
Today’s Challenge: Maybe you have given up thinking that your life could change. 1 Peter 5:5 – “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Today, humble yourself and ask God for the grace and the power to change. Cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and watch what God can do.