I am a creature of habit. I have some crazy OCD-like traits. For one thing, I become easily frustrated with procrastination and disorganization. I love to, and many times think i need to have a plan. These are both strengths and weaknesses because although they help me to remain predictable and responsible, they also make it extremely hard for me to go along for the ride whenever life calls for it. And there have been time when I've needed to relax but couldn't. This has always been a huge area of struggle for me, although it’s getting easier because I have a spouse who complements me in this way. He encourages me not to find my worth in what I do. He encourages me to relax more and stress less. The Lord has really used him to help me not to be so high strung.
I’ve been convicted over my resistance to change and my inflexibility. When we become believers of the gospel of Christ, we adopt the very concept of change at the deepest level. In fact, we beg for it, right? Then when we get it, we mope, whine and pout as if we are going through some crisis. I am convinced that the human race can be summed up as insatiable gluttons for punishment because, and only because I see it in myself.
I also hear it in fellow Christians, “Why can’t _______ just adapt?” In the same breath they gripe about their own struggle of adapting to change. We are so hard on those who struggle to adapt, yet we excuse away our own resistance as if it’s somehow justified. Of course scripture says that God doesn’t change but God is already perfect. We aren’t. We are constantly in desperate need of change.
God called Moses to go back to Egypt after he fled with his family. He wanted to use him for something great but every step of that journey came with a need to further adapt. Earlier this week, I was watching the movie “The Ten Commandments.” In the scene where Moses and his wife made the trip back to Egypt as God commanded, Moses looked at his wife and said, “You’d think if God wants me to do something, He would make it easy.” Whoa! There was no denying I needed to hear that statement reflecting that very attitude in my own heart.
Repentance pretty much sums up change in the life of a Christian. At the most basic level, repentance is change. It begins with a change of heart that spreads to impact everything we think, say and do. Rick Warren said, “You are not preaching the gospel unless you are preaching repentance.” The gospel should constantly change us by exposing more and more of our hearts. There is no point at which we are alive and can say, “I’ve arrived. I know it all and have it all figured out.” No matter how old we get, how “mature” we think we are, we still need the ever-cleansing change that only Christ can make in our hearts. And might I add that God uses the most unlikely people and circumstances to teach us. Everything in life can be used to mature us and draw us closer to Him if we will just listen.
We don’t have to fear change. We can be Biblically sound, open to growth while using wisdom that scripture teaches us. If you know that the greatest miracles God performs are those changes of the heart, it’s because you’ve experienced it firsthand. And if you have experienced it, can you agree that it’s quite rewarding to see those changes impact every area of our lives? And if you don’t know the Lord, do you want to? If you do, I encourage you to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a lot to learn, but I do know that our God is the expert of change and makes it all worthwhile.