As I reflect on past years, I realize that change is the underlying theme of our lives. Our economy changes, our nation changes, and even you and I have change. For some, these changes mean the loss of a job, home, or financial status. For others these changes bring about unexpected blessings. For most people, however, changes are both challenging and positive. Change is everywhere
The older I get, the more I realize that I like things to be comfortable and familiar. I find myself choosing the same restaurants to go to, the same clothing style, the same friends to hang out with, and the same old exercise routine to follow. I even sit in the same place at church every Saturday evening.
Change can be unsettling and require efforts that tax my energy, as well as my mental reserves. I don’t want change just for the sake of change, but I also don’t want to be so settled in my ways that I become satisfied with my comfort zone. I never want to get to a place where I refuse to “step out of the boat” and therefore miss the thrill of walking on water. What I do want is a good reason for the change, and the assurance that it will bring about something even better.
The only way you and I can truly know if change is worth it, however, is to do what God says and obey His leading.
One of my favorite bible teachers is Anne Graham Lotz. She loves to preach truth and with her southern draw its’ wonderful to listen to. In the following words she writes about the monumental history-splitting, life-altering changes that came about when God left His throne in glory, invaded a woman’s womb, and entered time and space:
· The change in the Virgin Mary’s life when she was told she would conceive a son through the power of the Holy Spirit, and she obediently submitted to the will of God.
· The change in Joseph’s life when his virgin bride to be revealed she was pregnant, and he obediently submitted to God’s Word directing him to take her as his wife, and called her son, Jesus.
· The change in the lives of the shepherds who most likely were guarding lambs raised for temple sacrifice, when they heard the glorious announcement that the Messiah God’s perfect Lamb, had been born… as Baby lying in a manager!
· The change in people’s relationship with God when that baby grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, then smashed Himself on a Roman cross as God’s sacrifice who took away the sin of the world.
· The change in people’s access to God when, simultaneous with the death of Jesus, the veil in the temple was torn in two…from the top down…opening the way into God’s presence for all who come to Him through Jesus!
· The change in human history when the crucified Christ became the risen Lord who ascended into Heaven, defeating once and for all, death, the grave and the devil, giving the reality of authentic Hope to those who believe in Him.
· The change in all religion when the Gospel is preached because Jesus Himself said. I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:5) For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
· The change in the human heart when we are reconciled with God through faith in Jesus Christ
· The change in society when we love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength…and our neighbor as ourselves.
· The change in our own life when we cried out to God for more than just enough of Jesus to escape a fiery hell, to be saved from God’s wrath, to call ourselves a Christian, to manage our guilt, to get a ticket to Heaven, to squeak through Heaven’s gate…and asked Him to give me more that enough to bend my will, to awaken my conscience, to break my heart, to transform my mind, to overcome my prejudices, to soar my spirit, to conform me into His glorious image!!! ~Anne Graham Lotz
My prayers for you, as you enter a New Year, is that you would embrace change and seek God’s holy transformation in your life through Christ. I also pray for the changed lives of those around you, your precious children, family, friends as you chose to die to yourself, your dreams, your will, and your ambitions, and be crucified with Christ so that YOU no longer live, but Jesus lives in YOU, pouring out HIS life through YOU.