It’s been said that the only people that like change are babies with dirty diapers. I get that. I loathe change. I love the feeling of security I get from sameness, like the blankie I carried everywhere when I was 4 years old.
In itself, there is nothing wrong with consistency and sameness. But for me (and maybe for you, too) the sin comes when I make an idol out of that consistency. I would rather “safely” keep things as is, instead of trusting God through the transition.
Maybe that’s why God continues to bring about changes in our lives, to give us more opportunities to trust Him, or at least to reveal our hearts that refuse to do so.
There are four ways that I see God bringing about newness in my life, and perhaps you are experiencing changes in these areas too:
- Inside me personally
Before I can see change in any other aspect of my life, I need to be focused on the change that Christ wants to do in my life. My job is not to seek change, and is not to “do better,” but to seek God. As I draw near to God, He will draw near to me (James 4:8) and change me (2 Corinthians 3:18). God does the changing, and I need to actively live it out.
Brokenness is rampant among families in this country and in the world. Divorce, infidelity, child abuse, neglect — it is obvious that we have strayed far from God’s ideal plan for family. Marriage was God’s first institution (Genesis 2:24), and the image of what the relationship should look like between Jesus and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33), and yet we have utterly corrupted it.
Like many of you, I came from a broken home. But God redeems and restores. He took me, who as a young man was certain that I could never be a good husband and father, and he has blessed me with a wonderful wife and three incredible kids.
And He reminds me that I have not reached the end of the blessing. He is continually working in our family to challenge us and help us grow in our trust in Him. And we are reminded that all these changes are not so much about our benefit, but about Him receiving more and more glory.
The church is God’s primary agent of redemption for a fallen world. The amount of love that the body of Christ shows each other will prove to the world that we truly follow Jesus. So the question is, “How are we doing at loving each other?”
In the area I live in – rural, deep south – there are no shortage of churches. But too many “Christians” are unwilling to let go of tradition and unwilling to love those who are from the other side of the tracks (sometimes literally). We refuse to let the church die, so we keep it propped up by our own comforts, desires, and expectations.
It is easy for Christians to complain about the decay of society. We lament how things are, and pine for the “good old days.” But we fail to see that how we did things in the “good old days” is how we got to where we are today.
We want God to change our culture. But, only as He is changing our families and churches can the culture be changed. (And change in our families and churches will occur after we allow God to change us on a personal level.)
We need to aim for God’s standard of greatness and success for our communities, our culture, our nation, our world. We have a choice: we can either make a point, or make a difference. The former means keeping my mind and actions static; the latter means change. The former is easy, but only lasts as long as I’m around to defend it. The latter is difficult, but will have eternal rewards.
Our Lord is about making all things new (Revelation 21:5). He is interested in making us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), not just better creatures. The Hebrew word barah means “to create out of nothing,” not just to make something out of materials that were already there.
So, just as God created the world out of nothing (Genesis 1:1), David asked God to create in him a new heart (Psalm 51:10). Instead of resisting change, we need to plead with God to rip out the old and decaying, and replace it with His new thing.
In what areas are you facing change right now? What struggles are you experiencing as a result? How has God shown up in the midst of this change?