Change Is Your Friend

Friday, December 27, 2013

change is your friend
Life is full of changes. In fact, change is an inevitable part of life. Whether you and I embrace change or not will not stop the progress of change all around us. It is embedded into the fabric of our culture. If you got the latest digital gadget for Christmas you can bet that by June it will be outdated and everyone will be clamoring for the latest release. We have a choice to either spend our time allowing change to shape us for the better, or find a way to avoid it at all costs. If you choose to avoid it I've got news for you. You will change but it won't be good. I have found from experience that people who are determined to resist change end up changing into bitter, disappointed and cynical people. Change will happen one way or another. Read on about why I believe change is your friend.

The first reason is because God is the God of new beginnings. Isaiah 43:19 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." Though we can't see it, God is busy refreshing us in the dry areas of our lives. He wants to bring new life where there has been devastation. I can't think of any better reason to embrace the change God wants to bring in my life than that. And the icing on top is that he doesn't wait until January 1st. Lamentations 3:22-13 tells us that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and that his mercies are new every morning! Be encouraged that as you strive to allow God to change you, he has brand new mercies in his hands.

The second reason why change is our friend is because change is God's design for the Christian life. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." God is not interested in making us change because his is easily bored. The whole purpose of change is to make us more like him. Who can argue with that? I sure want to be more like him and less like me.

So why is it so hard to change? I suspect you are like me and have found at times that change is not easy. It's hard and it takes work. Hard work! I hope it brings some consolation to tell you that we all struggle with change. We all fail sometimes. As the adage goes, "To err is human."

Galatians 2:20 gives us insight into two basic reasons why we fail to change. The first reason is found in the first part of that verse. Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ." I believe the number one reason why we fail at change is simply because we fail to die to ourselves. You see, without dying any change we make is only outward and only changes what we do. It is only when we die that change happens inwardly and changes who we are. Once inward change begins to take place, outward change can then happen. Real change is more than just changing our actions. It is changing who we are.

The second reason why we fail to change is found in the second half of verse 20. Paul goes on to say, "and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." The problem is we try to change ourselves rather than allow Christ to change us. When we try to change ourselves we are attempting to do what only the Holy Spirit can do in us. The key to real change is when we let God begin to change us and do what we are powerless to do ourselves.

As you head into a new year I hope you will embrace change and embrace the One who can bring real, lasting change. Let change be your friend and you will be on your way to a wonderful and fruitful year. May the Lord bring you out of the desert and bring streams in the wasteland.

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