“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8.
Change is something we all need. It is an ongoing part of life. With it’s constant flux, life demands adjustments for our schedules and plans. Essentially, change is the new norm. But people’s spiritual lives call for more than slight changes to the calendar.
It is not that we are against change. In fact, we believe we can change. But it still seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So is real change possible? Is change that lasts – change that really matters – really achievable? You may be saying, “I can change.” But it is never simple.
Change that’s real and that lasts comes from God. God is our change agent. Things can change beginning with our relationship with God. It starts with changing our behavior. Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.” Breakthrough change requires courage and also often requires taking a step of faith. We can’t achieve breakthrough change the way we normally handle problems. It requires us to trust God. Because we know God and His character, we know He loves unfathomably and unconditionally. For that reason, and that reason alone, we can make the changes that we need to make. Sometimes we simply need to change our strategy. Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, view your circumstances as an opportunity for God to change you.
The 2007 movie The Bucket List cemented in the popular concept of making lists of things to do before you die. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s skydiving, drag racing and trips to exotic places are typical of many bucket lists, but why not create a more unusual bucket list. Regardless of your age, make a list of the short and long-term changes you want to make in your life. That list might include: loving others. ”Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4). Or become more active in doing God’s work: “Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” (John 4:34). Or Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
- If you are honest with yourself, what area in your life is hard to change?
- Do you retain “veto rights” when God asks you to change?
- What can you do this week to undergo real change in your life?